SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 27 - 4 Apr 2018 (16.00 UK)
3 - 0 Verona
Letizia 25 (B), Diabate 66, 84 (B)
Stadio Ciro Vigorito

Benevento earned a shock 3-0 victory in this bottom of the table battle with Verona, but it might be too late to save them.

The fixture was rescheduled from March 4 following the sudden death of Fiorentina captain Davide Astori.

This was a massive relegation showdown between the bottom two, although the hosts were already essentially doomed to the drop. Curiously, both sides had their first choice goalkeepers – Christian Puggioni and Nicolas – suspended, along with Fabio Lucioni and Mohamed Fares. Luca Antei, Ledian Memushaj, Thomas Heurtaux and Moise Kean were on the treatment table, but Alessio Cerci had his first start of 2018.

Both teams were promoted from Serie B last summer and when they met last term this fixture ended 2-0 for Le Streghe.

Del Pinto’s curler from the edge of the box was fingertipped over the bar by Marco Silvestri, a former Leeds United goalkeeper making his first Serie A appearance since 2014, then Djuricic stung his gloves at the near post.

Gaetano Letizia opened the scoring with a stunning strike, running forward to curl a ferocious effort from distance into the far top corner. It was his first goal since finding the net in the Serie B promotion play-off semi-final against Carpi in May 2017.

Bruno Petkovic came off the bench at half-time and hit the back of the net straight away with a spectacular volley, but only after Cerci had already been flagged offside.

Cheick Diabate should’ve doubled Benevento’s lead on two different occasions, but fired straight at Silvestri from point-blank range, while Brignola hit a fresh-air shot from 12 yards.

Silvestri flew to beat away another Letizia strike from a corner, then denied two powerful Pietro Iemmello efforts from the edge of the box too.

The former Leeds goalkeeper was finally beaten and Benevento doubled their lead. A corner found Diabate, whose header cannoned off the crossbar and into the path of Iemmello. However, it looked as if Diabate’s attempt had already crossed the line before reaching Iemmello.

Verona were simply never in the game and Diabate completed his brace by finishing off a good team move, meeting a low Enrico Brignola cross from the right.

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: Brignoli; Venuti, Djimsiti, Tosca, Letizia; Brignola (Volpicelli 88), Del Pinto, Viola, Djuricic (D’Alessandro 80); Iemmello (Guilherme 72), Diabaté
Verona: Silvestri; Ferrari, Caracciolo, Vukovic, Souprayen; Romulo, Calvano (Felicioli 27), Buchel, Verde; Valoti (Petkovic 46), Cerci (Fossati 67)
Ref: Doveri