SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 35 - 29 Apr 2018 (14.00 UK)
Verona 1 - 3 Spal
Valoti 13 (V), Fares og 45 (S), Felipe 71 (S), Kurtic 93 (S)
Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi

Hellas Verona are practically doomed now, as SPAL fought back with three second half goals to push Chievo into the bottom three.

This was a massive fixture in the race against relegation, as Hellas were in penultimate place and SPAL just four points above them in the final drop zone spot. With Benevento already doomed, these two were the favourites to go down with them, having just been promoted from Serie B last summer.

Verona were in their last chance saloon, but were really struggling since Moise Kean’s injury. The Spallini had Marco Borriello and goalkeeper Alex Meret out of action, though saw their eight-round unbeaten run ended by Roma last week.

SPAL had never lost a top flight meeting with Verona, emerging with a win and two draws. When they met here last season in Serie B, it ended goalless.

It was an ugly atmosphere, with Verona fans protesting before kick-off. Hellas almost scored in the opening minutes, but Bruno Petkovic scuffed it across the face of goal after an Alessio Cerci short free kick routine. SPAL lost Manuel Lazzari to injury very early on and went a goal behind moments later.

Petkovic did decidedly better as an assist man, threading through for Mattia Valoti, who beat Alfred Gomis one-on-one.

However, just as Verona were preparing to go into the break with a precious lead, Mohamed Fares accidentally nodded a Filippo Costa cross into his own net, as he was perhaps expecting Vukovic to get there.

SPAL’s confidence was boosted and they almost turned the game around after the restart, as Federico Mattiello’s solo effort took a deflection off Vukovic to test Nicolas.

SPAL were frustrated, as Mattiello went down in the box after a trip, but there was no penalty or VAR review. The Ferrara club was clearly improving as the game went on and took the lead when Vicari nodded on a corner for the acrobatic Dias Felipe volley from six yards.

Hellas just couldn’t get back on their feet and SPAL first threatened with Mirco Antenucci skimming the upright, then Jasmin Kurtic drilled low from the edge of the box for the conclusive goal.

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Verona: Nicolas; Ferrari, Caracciolo, Vukovic, Fares; Romulo, Valoti (Fossati 50), Calvano (Lee 73); Matos (Verde 62), Cerci, Petkovic
Spal: Gomis; Cionek, Vicari, Felipe; Lazzari (Costa 12), Grassi, Everton Luiz, Kurtic, Mattiello; Antenucci, Floccari (Paloschi 69)
Ref: Banti