16 - Fiorentina 42pts
17 - Parma 42pts
18 - Bologna 42pts
This is how the Serie A table looked for three of Italy’s most famous clubs come the end of the 2004-2005 season. With Brescia and Atalanta already relegated on 41 and 35 points respectively the question now, was who would join them?
Fiorentina were the lucky ones as they had a greater head to head against the two biggest clubs from Emilia Romagna. This meant it was down to a two legged Derby Dell’Emilia to decide things.
Bologna came out on top in the first leg at Parma’s Stadio EnnioTardini, winning 0-1 thanks to an Igli Tare strike. The tie also saw Parma keeper’ Luca Bucci and Bologna’s Christian Amoruso sent off after a clash at the end, this meant they would be missing for the return leg.
Bologna welcomed their neighbours to the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara on the evening of 18th June in confident mood following on from there 0-1 win at the Tardini. Parma however, were always going to be dangerous with 22 year old Alberto Gilardino leading their line, having already bagged 23 goals that season.
The atmosphere was electric, the players faces intense, full of concentration, this was massive, there was so much at stake.
The worlds top referee Pierluigi Collina got the game underway, it was a scrappy start with, both teams creating half chances. The players were clearly nervous, not wanting to make a mistake.
The away side would take the lead in the 16th minute as Guiseppe Cardone beat the Bologna defence to finish from a Parma corner sending the Gialloblu faithful behind the goal into ecstasy.
It was all square and game on.
The goal really settled Parma and the confidence began to grow. Australian midfielder Mark Bresciano nearly doubled the lead as his ambitious long range drive had Gianluca Pagliuca beaten. Unfortunately for him it flew over the bar.
This gave Bologna a much needed wake up call and they in response had chances of their own, forcing the best out of young French goalkeeper Sebastian Frey. Parma seemed rattled and Frey was forced into an unbelievable stop as an Igle Tare header to Frey’s right saw him somehow claw the ball away.
It was end to end stuff now and Pagluica was forced into a good save at his near post from another Parma corner. Frey was also performing more heroics he was really impressing and keeping his side in it.
Bologna managed to keep Alberto Gilardino quiet as half time neared. That was until the 45th minute, when he pounced to score probably the easiest of his all of his 23 goals. He got on the end of a low cross ball to tap home from close range, over the barrier he went, fists pumping towards the Parma fans, they knew how big this goal was. The half would end 0-2.
As the second half began Carlo Mazzone’s Bologna knew they had a mountain to climb but the came out the traps flying, Parma didn’t know what hit them and had Sebastian Frey to thank for making another hand full superlative saves.
Frey was eventually beaten though as Ciro Capuano headed past him. Collina however, spotted something and ruled it out, replays would show that Capuano had actually scored a ‘hand of god’ type goal, it had been correctly ruled it out. What followed was 45 minutes continual Bologna attacking but Parma managed to hang on to win 2-1 on aggregate. This was thanks to the brilliance of Sebastian Frey whose goalkeeping brilliance had sent their great rivals down to Serie B, making the victory that little bit more special.
By Giovanni Dougall