SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 36 - 6 May 2018 (14.00 UK)
2 - 1
Birsa 12 (Ch), Stepinski 82 (Ch), Tumminello 94 (Cr)
Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi

Chievo made a huge leap forward on the debut of caretaker manager Lorenzo D’Anna and put Crotone back in trouble.

This was a massive relegation dogfight and potentially decisive clash, because Hellas Verona and Benevento had already gone down with only one spot remaining. The Flying Donkeys sacked Coach Rolando Maran last week, so Primavera youth team boss and former defender Lorenzo D’Anna made his debut on the bench. Crotone had climbed away from the danger zone with two consecutive victories against Udinese and Sassuolo, having also drawn with Juventus.

The Squali came in knowing a victory would mathematically secure their Serie A status thanks to a superior head-to-head record with the other sides. They also had a record of winning all three previous top flight meetings with Chievo, home and away.

Crotone thought they had taken the lead, but Federico Ceccherini was offside when nodding in an Adrian Stoian set play. However, moments later Chievo went on the counter and broke through with a Massimo Gobbi cross finding Valter Birsa for a free header at the back post.

The visitors fought back immediately, Marco Capuano’s glancing header cleared off the line to spark a furious pinball in the box.

Crotone piled on the pressure in the second half, as first Simy’s header smacked against the far post, then on a corner Stefano Sorrentino had to beat away another dangerous Capuano aerial effort.

Cordaz was incredibly fortunate when he saw an Ivan Radovanovic daisy-cutter bounce off the post and into his arms, as he seemingly wasn’t sure where the ball was.

Chievo doubled their lead late on with supersub Mariusz Stepinski, who controlled a Gobbi throw-in with his back to goal, spun round and placed the angled drive into the far bottom corner.

Crotone did make it a tense finale, as substitute Marco Tumminello’s volley from a Bruno Martella cross got a touch off Sorrentino, but was cleared only after it had crossed the line, as confirmed by the technology.

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: Sorrentino; Cacciatore (Bani 77), Dainelli, Tomovic, Gobbi; Rigoni (Bastien 56), Radovanovic, Hetemaj; Birsa, Inglese (Stepinski 71), Giaccherini
: Cordaz; Faraoni, Ceccherini, Capuano, Martella; Barberis, Mandragora, Stoian (Ricci 71); Trotta (Tumminello 86), Simy, Nalini (Rohden 78)
Ref: Massa