Parma take a step closer to Serie A return with third-tier promotion

Parma took another step towards a Serie A return with their second promotion in two years, beating Alessandria in the Lega Pro play-offs.

Parma earned promotion to Serie B on Saturday with a 2-0 win over Alessandria, going up for the second straight season after being booted out of Serie A.

Parma won three European titles in the 1990s with the likes of Hernan Crespo - present for victory - in their team but ran into deep financial troubles in the 21st century and were denied a place in the Europa League in 2013-14, despite finishing sixth in Serie A.

They finished bottom of Italy's top division a year later, but were sent all the way down to Serie D after falling into bankruptcy.

The fourth tier was scaled unbeaten last season, but Roberto D'Aversa's men had to settle for second place behind Filippo Inzaghi's Venezia in Group B of Lega Pro this term.

And, having battled through a 28-team play-off system to book a meeting with Alessandria, Coppa Italia semi-finalists in 2015-16, in the final at the Artemio Franchi, Manuel Scavone and Manuel Nocciolini got the goals to seal it for the Emilian side.

Scavone latched onto Emanuele Calaio's cross to nod home in the first half, before Nocciolini scored an altogether scruffier effort, seeing the ball bobble home off his head after his initial effort on the slide was blocked.

It mattered little to the jubilant scores of Parma fans in the stadium, however, and the party was already well under way when Alessandria's Simone Gozzi was dismissed in stoppage time, with the Gialloblu dreaming of going toe to toe with Italy's best again.