The Derby Della Scala is the bambino of calcio’s football derbies. Having been contested for the first time in 1994, the Verona Derby made its Serie A debut in 2001 and in the process became the fifth Italian city after Milan, Turin, Rome and Genoa to host such an occasion.
The idea that these two sides would clash with regularity in the Italian top flight was deemed unimaginable once upon a time. Chievo’s rise from obscurity is a well-recognised story in Italian football, the Flying Donkeys- a name ironically given to them by their city rivals Hellas because donkeys would fly when they played in Serie A - have spent 15 out of the last 16 seasons in the peninsula’s top division.
During that period, Chievo even ventured into Europe, all this while the city’s biggest club went through turmoil. Roles had reversed, Chievo were enjoying their time as Verona’s best placed club, while Hellas went down to the old Serie C1, encountered financial troubles and only narrowly avoided relegation into Serie C2.
Hellas would eventually turn their fortunes around, returning to Serie A for the 2013-2014 season and immediately set about attempting to re-claim their crown as Verona’s top club. The two sides share a stadium and the Gialloblu colours, but the threat of relegation looms over both in the current campaign.
Hellas currently occupy 18th place in the standings, four points adrift from safety, while Chievo are keeping themselves afloat in 14th. These games are fiercely contested and tonight’s encounter at the Bentegodi will be no exception. It is not just pride at stake this time and as the game approaches we take a look at a few of their past meetings.
2001-2002 – The First Serie A meeting
The inaugural Derby Della Scala in Serie A. With both sides flying high in the table, Hellas took the bragging rights. It was 90 minutes that lived up to the pre-match anticipation. The game produced two penalties, nine yellow cards, a red card and saw Hellas turn a two-goal deficit into a 3-2 win.
Both sides took to the pitch that night with four of Italy’s future World Cup winning squad in their ranks. For home side Verona, their XI included Massimo Oddo, Mauro Camoranesi and Alberto Gilardino, with Oddo and Camoranesi both finding the net. On the opposite side, playing in central midfield was Simone Perrotta while Simone Barone was an un-used sub.
2014-2015: Chievo 2-2 Verona
An end of season meeting in the 2014-15 season was no less entertaining. Chievo were the home side on this occasion as the teams shared the points and four first half goals. Veteran strikers Sergio Pellissier and Luca Toni both got their names on the score sheet. Toni had put his side in front midway through the first half, only for Chievo legend Pellissier to equalise 15 minutes later. Neither side found a match-winning goal, but the game ended with two dismissals. After a disagreement on the side-line, both sides saw their assistant managers sent to the stands in stoppage time.
2017-2018: Chievo 3-2 Verona
With the current campaign only a few weeks old, the Bentegodi hosted another five-goal thriller. Chievo took all three points again despite falling behind early on. A Roberto Inglese double and a red card for Verona midfield player Bruno Zuculini swung the game in the Flying Donkeys’ favour before the half.
Verona responded and struck back during the second period after experienced striker Giampaolo Pazzini tucked a penalty home. As the game wore on and with the scores level, it was set-up for someone to become a hero and Chievo had him ready made. The evergreen Pellissier was introduced shortly after the hour mark and 10 minutes later he would scramble home a cross to give his side the points and further enhance his already legendary status.
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