Berlusconi-owned Monza promoted to Serie A for first time in 110-year history

By Sports Desk May 29, 2022

Monza have been promoted to Serie A for the first time in their 110-year history thanks to a 6-4 aggregate win over Pisa after extra time in the second leg of their Serie B play-off final.

Although a 2-1 win in Thursday's first leg had Monza in charge ahead of the return game in Tuscany, Pisa raced into a 2-0 lead inside nine minutes on Sunday.

Monza brought it back to 2-2 on the day and appeared to have done enough to seal promotion, but Giuseppe Mastinu struck in the 90th minute to level the aggregate score and force an extra 30 minutes.

Former Juventus defender Luca Marrone scored for Monza early on in extra time and Christian Gytkjaer got his second of the day with 101 minutes played.

Eugenio Lamanna was then shown a straight red card, though the backup goalkeeper was still among the substitutes at the time.

Monza held on to seal a famous win that secured a momentous promotion for a club that has seen its fair share of difficulties.

The club has been mired by financial issues for much of the past 23 years, filing for bankruptcy in 2004 and as recently as 2015.

Three years later, having seen a string of owners fail to provide stability, Monza were bought by an investment group headed by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who also owned Milan and served as the Rossoneri's president between 1986 and 2017.

The billionaire appointed former Milan CEO Adriano Galliani to the board.

Nineteen years earlier, Galliani's relationship with Monza's then-president Valentino Giambelli led to criticism and ultimately the latter's departure, with their status as a feeder club to Milan subsequently ending and financial instability becoming a concern.

But the duo have since been crucial to Monza again establishing themselves in Serie B and now earning promotion to Italian football's top table.

No Italian team had played more Serie B seasons (40) without competing in Serie A than Monza as of the 2021-22 campaign, but Giovanni Stroppa's men have ensured that is no longer the case.

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