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Dessers’ denied penalty irks Cremonese coach Alvini after Serie A loss to Hellas Verona

08:57 GMT 10/01/2023
Cyriel Dessers of Nigeria and Cremonese.
Cremonese coach Massimiliano Alvini was left disappointed that Cyriel Dessers was not awarded a penalty during his side’s loss to Hellas Verona.
  • Dessers was starting for the first time since October 30
  • The striker has recovered from injury but had a tough outing
  • Nigeria international had only one shot & nearly won a penalty

WHAT HAPPENED? Dessers, who was included in the starting XI for the first time since suffering a thigh injury in October, was fouled in the box with his side already 2-0 down in Monday’s Serie A encounter but the referee waved away his penalty claims.

The Nigeria international had only one attempt on target, when he expertly controlled a pass inside the penalty area before firing but his shot was blocked by a defender before he left the pitch on the hour mark to be replaced by compatriot David Okereke.

The visitors tried to produce a spark with the introduction of Okereke, Ghana youngster Felix Afena-Gyan, and Santiago Ascacibar, but the moves had little effect.

However, the denied penalty formed part of Alvini’s lamentations after the game since the incident happened after Darko Lazovic had scored twice to give Verona a 2-0 lead inside 26 minutes.

WHAT DID HE SAY? “The penalty on Dessers could have reopened the game, but this is not tonight's [Monday’s] topic,” said Alvini, while lashing out at his players for a poor display.

“The performance wasn't up to par, we are responsible for what we didn't do on the pitch and we have to think about this. The team worked seriously but failed".

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The injury kept Dessers out of Cremonese’s final two matches just before the World Cup but the Serie A minnows seem not to have benefited from the long break as they were second from best yet again.

While Verona ended their 11-match winless run to move from the bottom of the table, Cremonese replaced them, as they remain the only side in the Italian top-flight yet to win this season after 17 matches.

Dessers has yet to show the form that saw him become one of the highly sought-after strikers following his stellar run for Feyenoord last season with only two goals for his new side, both scored in October.

WHAT’S NEXT? Cremonese are at home to fellow new boys Monza on Saturday, the kind of match they need to win to keep their slim survival chances alive.