Sergio Pellissier waved goodbye to Chievo, Serie A and his football career, but Sampdoria disappointed again, unable to defeat 10 men.
Nicola Rigoni was suspended for the hosts, with Ezequiel Schelotto injured. It was the final game at the Bentegodi for Sergio Pellissier, as the 40-year-old is hanging up his boots this summer. Samp’s only motivation now is to ensure their veteran hitman Fabio Quagliarella becomes Capocannoniere, while Rafael made his debut in goal due to an Emil Audero injury.
Mehdi Leris thought he had opened the scoring after 10 minutes, running on to a long Mattia Bani ball to flick it around Omar Colley, but it was ruled offside after a long VAR check.
Albin Ekdal drilled just wide, but two magnificent Pellissier assists were wasted, as first Fabio Depaoli couldn’t find anyone for the tap-in, then Mariusz Stepinski horribly shinned when clear on goal.
Pellissier went for goal himself, but scuffed wide after a bobble on the notorious Bentegodi turf, then almost caught goalkeeper Rafael napping on a Colley back-pass.
Quagliarella controlled a Junior Tavares cross to cut back past one defender, but Bostjan Cesar made the decisive block from 12 yards.
Chievo went down to 10 men just before half-time, as Federico Barba was shown a straight red card for his utterly reckless tackle on Defrel. He came sliding in two-footed, then raised his boots to knee-height as he made contact with the Sampdoria striker.
Dennis Praet saw his dipping strike fingertipped over the bar and Chievo almost took the lead on the counter, but Pellissier was too generous in laying it off for Vignato.
Things went from bad to worse for the hosts, who also lost Leris to injury in first half stoppages, then Adrian Semper flew for a one-handed save on Manolo Gabbiadini’s screamer.
Straight after the restart, Semper fingertipped a Defrel turn on the volley just over the bar, while Gabbiadini fired straight at the goalkeeper on a Quagliarella slide-rule pass. Quagliarella kept pushing, his free kick and a diving header whistling wide.
Sergio Pellissier was given a standing ovation and a guard of honour, as fans, teammates and opponents alike saluted the Chievo icon on his final appearance for the club.
Quagliarella still couldn’t add to his 26 goal tally for the Serie A season, as a desperate Bostjan Cesar interception prevented his tap-in at the back post.
In fact, 10-man Chievo nearly won it with the last kick of the game, but Rafael palmed away an Assane Diousse rocket and Manuel Pucciarelli slipped when trying to turn in the rebound.
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Sent off: Barba 40 (C)