DAVID SMITH - Monday, October 3, 2011
Michael Bradley earned his second start for the Flying Donkeys on Sunday afternoon, as the team kept their defense tight and earned a point with a scoreless draw at Cesena.
The American played the duration in the right side of a three-man central midfield for Chievo, as the team's defensive approach ultimately kept their hosts off of the scoreboard, albeit with a fortunate moment of brilliance by keeper Stefano Sorrentino.
The hosts, still winless coming into the contest, had a perfect opportunity to take the lead in the 12th minute as Luca Ceccarelli sent a cross into the area with Abdelkader Ghezzal having slipped behind the defense, however the Algerian's header was wide of the mark.
Cesena were dangerously close three minutes before the half hour, as the ball was blocked out of the box to Antonio Candreva, whose thunderous volley to the lower right corner was blocked by Chievo keeper Sorrentino.
They were given a golden opportunity to take the lead at the hour mark, as Chievo defender Bostjan Cesar pulled down halftime substitute Erjon Bogdani in the area, setting up a potentially game-turning penalty for the hosts.
Former Chelsea outcast Adrian Mutu elected to take the spot kick, however his drive to the lower left corner was successfully saved by Sorrentino, preserving the tie for the visitors.
The remainder of the game saw scant chances from either team, with the referee's whistle finally blowing to confirm the unsurprising result.
With the result, Chievo drop to eighth place with eight points from their first five games. They have a two-week break for international play before facing a tough home matchup against early Serie A leaders Juventus.