Verona swept past Cagliari to a sixth consecutive home win and remain alongside Inter in fourth place.
Hellas had a perfect record at the Bentegodi after five home games and were brimming with confidence, while Cagliari were fresh from a 3-0 home defeat to Bologna. Nicola Murru was suspended for the visitors with Albin Ekdal, Mauricio Pinilla and Gabriele Perico unavailable. Verona missed Gomez Taleb and the banned Evangelos Moras.
This fixture hadn’t been played in Serie A since 1999-00, when the hosts won 2-0 with Cesare Prandelli on the bench.
It took under nine minutes for Verona to take the lead, as Romulo’s corner was curled on to the head of Luca Toni. The veteran centre-forward managed to extricate himself from the crowd and nod in at the back post.
Moments later Toni just failed to tap in, but carried on the move for an Emil Hallfredsson effort well saved. Michael Agazzi also smothered a Bosko Jankovic free kick, but Cagliari finally got into the game with Daniele Dessena’s header over.
Marco Sau had a good chance the day after his 26th birthday, but Domenico Maietta threw himself at the half-volley to charge it down. Jankovic wanted a penalty for a Davide Astori handling offence, but it was considered to be involuntary.
Radja Nainggolan skimmed the bar from distance, as Cagliari kept possession without creating many chances. Sau limped off in first half stoppages for the visitors.
Cagliari were very aggressive after the restart and Danilo Avelar’s snapshot whistled over the bar, but once again Verona were more effective.
Bosko Jankovic exchanged passes with Romulo to burst down the left and curled his finish across the goalkeeper into the far side-netting.
The Sardinians would not give in as Nainggolan and Avelar skimmed the woodwork on several occasions. Victor Ibarbo went on one of his trademark runs, but Nene was offside when getting a touch and ruined the move.
Verona thought they had made it 3-0, but Toni’s goal was ruled offside.
Cagliari got one back in stoppages when Daniele Conti came sliding in for a low volley at the back post.