Update from Verona on all the recent action on and off the pitch.
#1. Match Report: Brescia 2 – 0 Hellas Verona. After Brescia’s 6-0 trouncing at the hands of Inter the week before, Verona went into this match as firm favourites. Despite that, Verona got off to a nervy start, with a rare error from keeper Silvestri, whose spill almost gifted Brescia an early lead. Although Hellas created plenty of chances, it was Brescia who took the lead from a set piece, a powerful header by 18-year old Andrea Papetti. With Verona pressing for the equaliser, Brescia doubled their lead with a 96th minute Donnarumma goal, his 8th of the season. In the end, a rare flat performance from Hellas and a disappointing result.
#2. Juric – Local media reports suggest that Ivan Juric is close to signing a contract extension that would tie him to Verona for another couple of seasons. While details are still sketchy, any deal that keeps the Croat in Verona would be celebrated by fans, who have really taken to their plain-speaking tactician.
#3. Match Report: Hellas Verona 2 – 2 Inter. Verona couldn’t have gotten off to a better start, with a trademark individual effort by Darko Lazović with barely two minutes on the clock. Verona continued to create chances throughout the first half and Veloso came close to doubling Verona’s lead with a superb strike that came off the woodwork. In the second half, it was Inter who came out stronger, with Candreva grabbing the equaliser with just four minutes played. Barely five minutes later Inter scored a second, a Candreva shot deflected off di Marco, leaving Silvestri with no chance. With five minutes remaining, Rrahmani found himself in the Inter penalty box. His layoff was coolly slotted home by Miquel Veloso for a well-earned equaliser. Another valuable point for Hellas against first class opposition.
#4. Top marks for Amrabat. The “pagelle” (player ratings) that are published in Italian newspapers after each match are an endless source of amusement and controversy. Anything above a seven indicates a decent performance. Eight is outstanding and nines and tens are just about unheard of. Well, following Verona’s draw with Inter on Thursday the local newspaper (L’Arena) saw fit to award Amrabat a ten! The newspaper subsequently justified its extravagant evaluation by explaining that it was awarded not just for his stupendous evening but also for his great professionalism. In contrast, the Gazzetto dello Sport must have been watching a different game. They gave Amra a measly 6.5!
#5. Match Preview: Fiorentina v Hellas Verona. Once again, it’s proving to be a frustrating season for La Viola, despite Rocco Commiso’s significant investment in the squad. Languishing in midtable, Fiorentina have still got some work to do to secure Serie A football next season. In the home tie, Verona won 1-0 thanks to a Di Carmine goal. Ribery is likely to start for Fiorentina despite threatening to leave following a recent house break-in. For Hellas, Zaccagni, Borini and Pazzini are all carrying knocks and may miss out.