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Empoli-Bologna: a dream from which no one wants to be woken up

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Empoli-Bologna: a dream from which no one wants to be woken up

How can you recognize the signs of a particular year? From the victory in Empoli for example. Bologna had never won before Castellani (now too Computer Gross for sponsor reasons), and he does it at the last minute, in the rain, after a match that seemed haunted. With five thousand fans in tow, who transformed the Tuscan stadium into a branch of the From the Ara.

Let’s start from the beginning though: it’s mid-March, but the climate still feels like winter. It’s raining, and annoyingly so: it’s a light rain, but it will last from start to finish. As mentioned, a flood of people arrive from the Two Towers: of course, twenty-five years later the rossoblù fans dream of Europe, the noble one. It’s a historic year, and Thiago Motta’s boys are no longer a surprise to anyone.

On the other hand, however, there is an Empoli that is historically a bête noire, especially at Castellani: and with a mad desire to grasp salvation. The arrival of Davide Nicola has partially reversed the trend, even if the problems remain. The climate and the ranking do not favor an influx of large events, but the presence of the home curve (positioned in the separate sections) is still discreet: behind the banner Desperadosand to pieces of Ultras Empoli, the hottest support is positioned. The Montevarchi twins were also present.

The Bolognese people occupy the entire guest sector, and also part of the grandstand: the exodus is from another era, but the support is not always constant. The fragmentation of the sector certainly doesn’t help, and a stadium that should be reviewed in its architectural structure. Especially regarding the two curves. In short, the provincial backdrop is beautiful, also and above all on a “romantic” level (incredible that a few kilometers from Florence there is a reality so proud of its roots), but some tweaking is needed.

Before the match, Lorenzo De Silvestri brings a bouquet of roses under the curve of his fans, in memory of the tragedy that struck the city during the night (a mother and her three children died after the fire in an apartment, mourning also expressed by a banner); on the other hand, Carlo Castellani, a club legend who died for his anti-fascist faith in a concentration camp, is remembered with flags and banners. Among the home supporters, a Palestinian flag also appears.

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There is mostly indifference between the two groups of fans: the two sectors limit themselves to rooting for their own teams, only at a certain point do the people from Empoli mention “whoever doesn’t jump is Bolognese”, but on the other side they don’t there is no reaction. The rain and the climate, as mentioned, do not favor the support, nor the game: 0-0 until the ninetieth minute, then the siege of Bologna begins. Caprile saves them all, Orsolini misses a goal already scored. It seems over, but right at the last minute Fabbian blows up half the stadium. The rossoblù win again, the party continues outside the stadium. The dream Champions becomes more and more concrete. Under the Two Towers, no one wants to be woken up.

Text and photos by Stefano Brunetti

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