Coppa Italia: Round of 16 / Team rating: 5 / Top scorer: Paloschi (13)
Once again survival was the key for Chievo Verona and they managed just that, albeit by the length of a proverbial donkey hair, writes Sam Lewis.
A draw in Chievo’s opening gambit against Parma precluded consecutive losses and seven goals conceded against Lazio and Napoli before a narrow win over Udinese - their first of the season - was their only win until November 23, in a period that otherwise saw six straight defeats and two draws.
The Verona derby saw the Gialloblu pull off a shock win against high flying local rivals Hellas, Dejan Lazarevic’s stoppage time winner against their in-form local rivals arguably providing their moment of 2013.
The derby victory spurned the Flying Donkeys to two vital wins against fellow candidates for the drop Sassuolo and Livorno.
The New Year bought consecutive draws, including a surprising January point shared with Inter at San Siro. The hard-working Veronese disappointed another giant just two weeks later when they drew 1-1 with Napoli in Naples, a game that Chievo led for 71 minutes before a late Raul Albiol equaliser.
Three more defeats marked February before a key victory over Catania lifted spirits while further wins over fellow strugglers Genoa and Bologna in March and a 4-2 victory over Livorno in mid-April solidified their bid to stay in Italy’s strongest division.
Despite another three losses through April following the Alberto Paloschi led win over Livorno, a May 11 victory over Cagliari confirmed that they would once again be in Serie A in 2014-15, even despite 18th placed Catania’s Week 38 victory over Atalanta.
Survival was the key objective once again for Chievo, and the Gialloblu’s resilience shone through once again.
Chievo began the season with Giuseppe Sannino but a draw with Milan was the eighth consecutive game without a win, proving to be the final result of his coaching career with the Flying Donkeys. Eugenio Corini took over the club in mid-November, overseeing their revival and keeping the club in Serie A by four points.
The club’s top scorer by a wide margin with 13 goals to go with two assists, Alberto Paloschi led the Chievo line and scored the goals that have essentially saved their season. Cyril Thereau with seven is Chievo’s next highest goalscorer, indicating the 24-year-old’s importance.
- Chievo Verona attempted the fewest shots in Serie A this season.
- Only Bologna have scored fewer goals than Chievo this season, who have scored 34 goals this season.