This return semi-final of the Serie B playoffs can only have a very long queue. Starting from the first leg match in Sardinia, where Parma managed to squander a double advantage by first being caught up and then overtaken by Cagliari at the end. Since there wasn’t even the material time to regret, the Parma fans already on the eve of the match tried to charge the whole environment, calling the Gialloblù people to gather from Barriera Farini. From there a procession gathered and then moved to accompany the team bus towards the “Tardini”. About a thousand attendances with the ranks that were getting bigger as you approached the stadium. After turning at the Petitot, the team also took to the streets from the bus, encouraged and pushed right into the changing rooms by the enthusiasm, grit and desire to win of its fans. Already in the recent past, attempts had already been made to set up events of this kind to charge the players but the success had never been equal to this time, either due to the once so favorable schedule, or above all due to the outcome of the double confrontation still pending. poised, which compulsorily leads most to believe in it all the way.
The interior of the stadium was equally charged emotionally and, above all, from a numerical point of view, if not close to sold out in any case, full as never before in the rest of the season: there are 17,437 spectators present, of which 1,323 have taken a seat in the away sector, to support the Sardinian rossoblùs. Many departed from Sardinia, many gathered around the banner of the Sconvolts: never before had such a presence of Cagliari citizens been seen in Parma, usually the prerogative of far fewer loyalists.
The ensuing environment, for the first twenty minutes of the game, is absolutely galvanizing, with a powerful and participatory cheer the likes of which we haven’t seen or heard for years. Even the Curva Sud and the Tribuna have often joined the North to such an extent that the echo of the chants, on more than one occasion, have literally given the chills to those present with yellow and blue faith.
Very “old-fashioned” initial choreography, made with confetti, rolls of paper and a full-bodied smoke whose blanket then extended towards the pitch, delaying the start of the match by a few minutes. Good impression – as mentioned – of Cagliari, who appear very compact, with many big blue, white and red flags and a cheer that, as for the other party, is as positive as it is inevitably conditioned by the events on the pitch. A match that takes place on a roller coaster in terms of pathos and chances, it often sucks the attention of the public, muting them in moments of fear and leading them to roar in the offensive gusts of their team.
The clubs’ coronaries are put to the test around the 35th minute when Lapadula slips past the Parma goalkeeper but the referee disallows for offside. The other crucial event is Bonny’s goal-no goal in the 75th minute which unleashes irrepressible joy and leads to a nice torch in the Curva Nord. Then the cold shower from the VAR which cancels as the ball had not completely crossed the goal line. The psychological repercussion has an impact similar to a missed penalty and the cheering decreases accordingly but, more generally, to give an idea of the broadly positive value of today’s test, the less powerful chants of the day were by far more powerful than those more powerful than the rest of the season. Truly a top notch performance.
Conversely, the final in Cagliari is instead a crescendo, as you get closer to the final triple whistle when, the 0-0, gives the qualification to the final. Exultation and heartfelt celebrations among fans and players flocked to their sector. Parma too tries to get closer to the North and even if the regular season hadn’t been exciting and even in the playoffs they had to collect this elimination, the fans choose to cheer up their boys with applause and a “Winning the derby” with which they already address attention to next season. In fact, the historic derby with Reggiana is back as well as the one with Modena not to mention Cremona which, even if outside the regional borders, is felt in these parts on a par with a real derby.
One can only console oneself with future prospects. Cagliari is in the final for now, where they will meet Bari. Two very different fan groups, yet both deserving of a return to Serie A. The most immediate future will be the inexorable judge: the joy at stake is only for one of the two.