There is a current of thought that since February, after the closure of the repair market, has come firmly into fashion on the steps of Manuzzi. Although it may be a personal judgment and not decisive for the purposes of the arrangement, the question that has been veering around for some months in the Uruguel stadium is the following: has Cesena never had such a solid defense as in this second leg?? It is conceivable that at least once in the past three months everyone asked himself, especially after the winning change in January: Ivan Kontic, on loan at Foggia, went out and bought Luigi Silvestri from Siena. The sensational influence of Palermo’s midfield has lifted Toscano’s defense to greater heights, and it’s no coincidence that, other than the tall tale written since September about management and goalkeeper selection, Cavalluccio has conceded the fewest goals ever, even those who’ve already won the championship like Reggiana. With a sure Ciofi that continues to rise every year, with a solid and reliable left hand like Mercadante, with a playful multitasking like Celiento and of course with the totem of Prestia dominating half of Manuzzi, the arrival of the Silvestri completed an almost perfect section for which there was not even a need for replacement Coccolo injured.
With the exception of a player from outside the category like Davide Di Gennaro, Cesena re-released him two years ago after almost a year of inactivity, since bankruptcy so far, no signing in January has remotely affected the high performance of Silvestri, the right defender in the right place. Arrived in mid-January and ousted on the pitch by Toscano in the last half hour in Cesena-Fermana, Cousin Prestia immediately tuned the frequencies of his team-mates as well as the coach, perfectly calibrated to the aggressive manner of play that a player requires. Calabrian engineer. And then, of course, there are the numbers that become the litmus test for Stefanelli’s perfect purchase. Since making his debut on January 22 (oddly his 30th birthday), Silvestri has only missed two games: one due to his turnover and one due to a disqualification. And looking at the details, these are Cesena-Montevarchi 2-2 and Cesena-Lucchese 1-1, two of the four “holes” matches that did not allow Cavalluccio to reach Reggiana in the standings. From its debut until today, with Silvestri on the field, Cesena has conceded only 6 goals in 13 matches, keeping the door closed on 9 occasions. Of those goals, we conceded from open play only 4 (two insignificant goals from Imola and the two against Reggiana), while Di Stéfano scored in Gubbio, Calamai and Montevarchi from a corner kick and directly from a free kick.
But Silvestri was also busy in the other area, the one usually about sixty meters from his usual court. With 4 goals scored in the second leg, the number 28 is the third best scorer in 2023 (with Pompeo) behind Stephen Schpendi and Simon Corazza, i.e. the two undisputed goals at the start of Cesena: one against Siena, and another against Siena. Entella, the last exclamation mark against San Donato Tavarnelle and another decisive goal on Saturday against Ves Pesaro. In recent years, between B and C, no defender has scored so much: the most prolific player (Tonucci in 2012-2013, Ligi in 2016-2017 and Scognamiglio a year later) stopped at 3. On Sunday in Alessandria, in a state of goals, Silvestri will be able to catch Damiano Cesari, the most prolific defender of the last 20 years with 5 goals in the 2002-2003 season.
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