Accusations and counter-accusations have been flying almost as rapidly as the fists were, after Torino and Genoa came to blows at full-time on Sunday at the Stadio Olimpico.
The pitch battle came about after Diego Milito handed the Rossoblu a dramatic 3-2 win at the death, a result that pushes Torino deep into the relegation mire. Giancarlo Camolese’s bulls now face doomed Lecce next Sunday knowing Bologna have the edge over them in the final round of the season. Even if Torino win, their survival is now out of their own hands.
Many have predicted that Genoa, who had already qualified for the Europa League, would simply roll over against Torino and allow their opponents to pick up three vital points in their battle against the drop. But, in very un-Italian fashion, Genoa fought until the final whistle, much to the hosts’ disappointment.
When quizzed on whose fault the brawl was, Torino coach Giancarlo Camolese pointed his finger at “an important Genoa player, Thiago Motta, who at the end went in front of our bench and told us to be quiet. My men reacted to provocation from the Genoa squad. These are situations we would not like to see, as even if a team does have 30 points more than their opponents, they cannot afford gestures like that. It is difficult to keep calm after all the tension of the week built up.”
But Genoa manager Gian Piero Gasperini refused to accept such blame, countering with his own charge that Torino were simply bitter that Genoa did not roll over.
Gasperini : “I ask myself why people are amazed that we tried to win a match. Evidently we have all become accustomed to these soft performances in the final weeks of the season, but it doesnâ€™t have to be like that. We still had an objective, as we couldâ€™ve stayed in the race for fourth if Fiorentina hadnâ€™t equalised at Lecce in stoppages. On the one hand we can understand Torinoâ€™s disappointment and anger, but on the other they cannot blame my players for their situation. This isnâ€™t the game where they lost their place in Serie A. Relegation is part of the sport. If theyâ€™re going to react like this then maybe we should remove relegations and just keep the same old teams, see how everyone likes that!”
The brawl between Torino and Genoa can be seen here.