Parma, 12 January 2023 – Our Storia Crociata history recollections this week takes us back to Saturday 4 April 2009, and with it fond memories of a visit to the stadio San Nicola in Bari with a Serie B clash dominated, and eventually won, by the Crociati.

It was to be a major turning point in the race for promotion to Serie A as we found ourselves second in the table.

Leading the league was Bari, coached by none other than Antonio Conte.

On that day, Parma, set up perfectly by Head Coach Francesco Guidolin, gave a footballing lesson to the hosts, that gave us a decisive step towards the top-flight.

The 2-0 win was mostly down to an impeccable first-half performance.

We opened the scoring on 15 minutes with a goal by centre-forward Daniele Vantaggiato, who had recently joined in January.

His left-footed strike ended a series of attempts in just a few seconds.

Vantaggiato had first been kept out by the Biancorossi keeper, Belgian Jean François Gillet. Another chance then fell to McDonald Mariga, whose effort was cleared off the line by defender Cristian Stellini. But eventually, our front-man fired home to beat Gillet and make it 0-1.

The second came after 27 minutes, thanks to his young striking partner Alberto Paloschi.

Paloschino scored with a text-book header.

It was the end of a great move started off by Alessandro Budel in midfield and then a flying run down the right by Damiano Zenoni, who crossed into the box perfectly for our forward (0-2).

The reaction from Bari was minimal, while the Crociati went close to adding to their tally on four different occasions.

The closest of them all was by central defender Massimo Paci, who hit the crossbar.

Coming out on top in this end of season six-pointer, Parma closed the gap to only one point to leaders Bari at the top of the table, who had been in charge for 16 games.

In the photos: Crociati supporters at San Nicola; Vantaggiato in action and celebrating with his teammates after his goal; Paloschi’s delight, shared with Budel, after doubling the lead.