Walter Zenga got his first win on the Crotone bench thanks to Ante Budimir, but Chievo will rue poor finishing and the offside flag.
The Squali had lost four on the trot and went into the game without Mariano Izco, Andrea Nalini, Marco Tumminello or Stefan Simic. Chievo were fresh from a creditable stalemate with Roma, but still missing Lucas Castro.
Zenga’s men started very aggressively with chances for Adrian Stoian, but Ante Budimir missed a sitter by blasting over from six yards.
The visitors lost Riccardo Meggiorini to injury after just 24 minutes, making way for Sergio Pellissier.
Crotone eventually took the lead with a chaotic effort, as first Stoian’s cross-shot bounced off the bar, then Arlind Ajeti had two attempts to cross until Budimir tapped in at the far post.
Stefano Sorrentino used his legs to parry another Budimir attempt from Rolando Mandragora’s through ball, while Marcus Rohden’s right-foot curler skimmed the far upright.
Roberto Inglese tried to set up Manuel Pucciarelli, whose first touch let him down from a very promising position, then Alex Cordaz performed a desperate reaction save on Inglese’s header.
Chievo thought they had equalised with Inglese, but VAR confirmed he had strayed offside from an Ivan Radovanovic attempt.
In the final minute, Ajeti only cleared to the edge of the area, where Pucciarelli drilled inches wide.