Parma, 20 August 2021 – It was a cold midweek winter evening when Parma took to the pitch on Tuesday 17 February 2009 to play their 26th fixture of the Serie B season.

The Stadio Matusa was the setting that night, with its cramped nature making it a fascinating venue for football romantics.

In Frosinone, Francesco Guidolin’s Crociati picked up their fourth away win of the season in the league (a 2-1 victory).

It served as a sort of a turning point because Parma, who would celebrate an immediate return to Serie A at the end of the season after their relegation the year before, went on to record a series of vital successes on the road.

It remains the only time that the Ducali have emerged victorious away to the Canarini (out of three visits), and it’s a win that we’re looking back on in our Crociati History column ahead of tonight’s 20:30 CEST kick-off between Frosinone and Parma at the Stadio Benito Stirpe, the opening fixture of the 2021/22 Serie B season.

That evening, a little bit of luck was involved.

Parma picked up the three points thanks to a 92nd-minute winner, with Giorgio Lucenti, who was trying to beat our striker Cristiano Lucarelli to the ball, putting into his own net from Julio Cesar de Leon’s cross.

It was a goal that completed a Crociati comeback.

The hosts had initially taken the lead in the 14th minute, when Simone Cavalli forced the ball home from a corner.

Parma drew level in the second half through Alessio Manzoni, who had come on for Danish defender Magnus Troest just before half-time.

With 72 minutes on the clock, the former Atalanta man took the ball on the bounce and fired into the net with his left foot.

The goal came following a Parma corner, with the ball eventually dropping to Manzoni after Paolo Castellini, the Crociati captain that evening, had competed for it with a Frosinone defence that failed to get it clear.

Then, the winning goal arrived in stoppage time.

One interesting thing to note: in that Frosinone vs. Parma showdown, 24-year-old Pierluigi Frattali, who had come through the Canarini’s youth ranks, played between sticks for the home side. Several years later, he’d play a key role in the Ducali’s promotions to Serie B (2017) and Serie A (2018).

Header: Alessio Manzoni. Photo: Crociati supporters at the Stadio Matusa.