Verona stopped the slide with a point and a clean sheet, as they successfully neutralised the Sampdoria attack thanks to two Antonio Caracciolo goal-line clearances.
The Blucerchiati were still unbeaten this season and had practically a full squad to choose from, missing only Emiliano Viviano and Dodo. Hellas, on the other hand, were in crisis with one point from four rounds, scoring one goal and conceding 11. With talk of Coach Fabio Pecchia on the brink already, Samuel Souprayen’s ban added on to injuries for Martin Caceres, Gian Filippo Felicioli, Alex Ferrari, Mohamed Fares, Franco Zuculini and Matteo Bianchetti.
Sampdoria are undefeated against Verona in competitive matches since 2013, when Juanito Gomez and Luca Toni scored to give Verona a 2-0 win. Remarkably, no players from either side’s starting 11 that game remain at their former clubs.
Nicolas beat away a Gianluca Caprari right-foot curler, then Valoti just failed to get on the end of the assist from Serie A debutant Bearzotti.
Puggioni had to parry a Valoti strike on Daniel Bessa’s cross, but substitute Duvan Zapata only skimmed his head to a Caprari cross.
Caracciolo required a goal-line clearance to deny Samp the opener on 71 minutes, getting back to stop Gaston Ramirez nodding in another Caprari assist from close range.
The visitors stepped up the pressure, Nicolas performing a desperate save on Caprari one-on-one, but were open on the counter as Puggioni parried a Bessa effort and Romulo turned the rebound on to the side-netting.
Nicolas had some awful howlers this season, but made up for them with another crucial save on Ramirez’s left-foot scorcher.
Deep into stoppages, Duvan Zapata was first to reach Nicola Murru’s cross with a free header, but Caracciolo again cleared off the line and on to the upright.