Saturday February 20 2021
Ballardini: 'What a boost for Genoa'

Davide Ballardini believes the stoppage-time equaliser down to 10 men against Hellas Verona can give Genoa ‘such a boost going forward.’

The Grifone completed a remarkable comeback, twice trailing to Ivan Ilic and Marco Davide Faraoni goals, as Eldor Shomurodov and Milan Badelj’s last-gasp equaliser snatched a point.

They were down to 10 men from the 76th minute, as Luca Pellegrini pulled a hamstring on his return to the team and all the substitutions had been completed.

“I am extraordinarily happy for the result against a Verona side that has clear ideas, players with great strength, stamina and quality,” Ballardini told Sky Sport Italia.

“Genoa weren’t at our best, which makes this point even more meaningful. To get an equaliser against a strong Verona side when down to 10 men, that can give you such a boost going forward.”

Since Ballardini took over from Rolando Maran in December, Genoa have lost only one Serie A match and clawed their way into mid-table comfort.

The Derby della Lanterna with arch-rivals Sampdoria is coming up soon and the pressure is on.

“Obviously, the derby can never be a game like the others, but these lads are good at taking it one game at a time. Let’s not forget where Genoa were in the table when we arrived. Every point has been earned with hard work, training and ideas.

“Even when down to 10 men today, we still spent more time in the Verona half than our own.”