Luca Toni set a new club record and gave Hellas Verona victory in the Derby, beating Chievo 1-0.
This was the Derby della Scala, but not all the Hellas ultras were in attendance, as they boycotted the game in protest at high ticket prices for the ‘away’ fans. Although they were comfortably mid-table, Verona lost momentum in 2014 and had to do without Alejandro Gonzalez and the suspended Michelangelo Albertazzi. The Flying Donkeys were only two points clear of the drop zone, but had Nicolas Frey available after his three-match ban was quashed on appeal.
Earlier this season Chievo caused a shock with their 1-0 win ‘away’ to Verona on Coach Eugenio Corini’s debut.
The ‘hosts’ got off to a sparkling start, as within 50 seconds Victor Obinna had been brought down on the edge of the box, then after three minutes Bostjan Cesar’s diving header was smothered by Rafael.
Obinna’s pace was causing problems, but he wasted a golden opportunity one-on-one with Domenico Maietta, pulling his shot well wide.
Luca Toni cut in past his marker down the right, but the finish was charged down by Dario Dainelli in the six-yard box.
Toni went even closer soon after with his header bouncing off the ground, but Michael Agazzi performed a brilliant low save to fingertip it round the base of the near post.
Emil Hallfredsson almost scored a sensational goal on the stroke of half-time, unleashing a long-range strike that thumped the intersection between upright and crossbar. Agazzi had been left rooted to the spot.
Chievo also lost Boukary Drame to injury, making way for Gennaro Sardo.
Straight after the restart, Toni pounced on a defensive error and sent Juan Iturbe through, but Agazzi stood his ground and was decisive to stop the attempted chip.
The Chievo goalkeeper also beat away a Romulo snapshot, then made himself big to block Toni after Iturbe had run all the way up the pitch from a Luca Rigoni error.
Ex-Porto forward Iturbe also hit a missile that Agazzi fingertipped over the bar, but Verona’s pressure eventually paid off.
Fabrizio Cacciatore stood a cross into the box and Dainelli got his head to it, but when the ball fell Toni was quicker than anyone else to react and prodded home from six yards. This took Toni’s tally up to 16 Serie A goals for the season, making him Verona’s all-time top scorer in a single top flight campaign.
Alberto Paloschi just failed to get on the end of a deflected Ivan Radovanovic shot right in front of Rafael, then the Verona goalkeeper parried a Cyril Thereau effort and Gennaro Sardo long-ranger.
Sergio Pellissier knocked down a poor clearance for Thereau, whose volley whistled just wide of the near post.
Radovanovic, who scored a last-gasp winner earlier this season, almost repeated the trick with a blockbuster that skimmed the upright. Chievo laid siege to the Verona net, but Iturbe went on a rapid counter in stoppages and Toni's pull-back was crucially intercepted by Frey's heel.