On Saturday night, Frosinone defeated Palermo two-nil in the return leg of the Serie B playoffs and returned to the top league after a two-year absence. It will be the Ciociari’s second appearance in Serie A: in 2015/2016 they finished 19th, fading down the stretch after being fairly competitive in the relegation race.
The Gialloblù were among the favourites all year long and spent the better part of the season in the top two spots. They had the opportunity to be promoted directly up until the final match day, but they fumbled it away due to a last-minute 2-2 tie with Foggia, which allowed Parma to leapfrog them. However, they were able to regroup and eliminate Cittadella and Palermo in the postseason.
They are coached by the up-and-comer Moreno Longo, a former Torino’s youth manager, who is just at his second season among the pros. Not an explosive squad, they relied heavily on their three-headed offence: Camillo Ciano, Daniel Ciofani and Federico Dionisi combined for almost 40 goals and the winger was arguably the best player in the league in 2017/2018.
Palermo have announced an appeal against the validation of the result. In the crazy final, the referee reversed a decision about whether to grant a penalty or a free kick to the Rosanero about three times in a minute, settling for the latter after loud dissent by both sides. The TV images are not definitive on that. Then, some Frosinone bench players were caught on camera throwing balls onto the pitch to stop the play, particularly when the opponents were attacking. Finally, the stoppage time was cut short by approximately a minute because of a massive pitch invasion after the 2-0 goal that sealed the deal. A lot to unpack there for the sports judge and there could be ground for a sanction for that unsportsmanlike behaviour.
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