Juan Iturbe scored a sensational free kick, but it was ultimately a dubious penalty that gave Verona victory over Livorno.
Both these teams were promoted from Serie B this summer and had great starts to the season. Hellas had Martinho only fit for the bench and gave Juan Iturbe his first Serie A start, but missed Domenico Maietta, while the Amaranto were without Marco Biagianti, Botta and Giuseppe Gemiti. Luca Siligardi was picked ahead of Innocent Emeghara.
Livorno’s last victory in Verona was 1-0 in the 2002-03 Serie B campaign, but had lost just one of their last 13 official away games.
Paulinho went on a mazy run and tested Rafael with a shot after dribbling through defenders. The Verona goalkeeper was again called into action, flying across the face of goal to palm away an Andrea Luci dipping drive.
Siligardi pounced on a poor Romulo backpass, but again Rafael was right behind it. The goalkeeper outdid himself with a stunning save, getting down very quickly to push Paulinho’s strike off the line.
It was Verona who scored against the run of play thanks to a fantastic free kick from their summer signing Iturbe. The Argentine curled a perfect finish over the wall and into the near top corner to celebrate his full Serie A debut.
Luca Toni threaded through for Juanito Gomez Taleb, who fired over from a tight angle.
However, Livorno equalised in first half stoppages when a corner found Leandro Rinaudo’s curious diving header from eight yards.
Iturbe and Pasquale Schiattarella had dangerous opportunities from distance, while Francesco Bardi smothered a sudden Juanito Gomez snapshot.
Verona were awarded an extremely dubious penalty, as Toni seemed to fall without real contact from Schiattarella. Nonetheless, Jorginho stepped up and coolly converted past Bardi.