Fabio Quagliarella’s brace completed the comeback for Sampdoria to get a precious victory, ending the Hellas Verona positive streak after nine rounds.
Nicola Murru and Gaston Ramirez were suspended for the Blucerchiati, with Alex Ferrari and Andrea Bonazzoli injured, so Maya Yoshida was given his Serie A debut after the January transfer from Southampton. Hellas missed suspended Miguel Veloso, injured Fabio Borini, Marco Davide Faraoni and Giampaolo Pazzini, so had limited choices upfront.
Emil Audero was kept busy from the start, forced into tricky saves on Samuel Di Carmine’s header and a sudden Sofyan Amrabat snapshot.
He could do nothing on 32 minutes when a cross was floated to the back post for Mattia Zaccagni to volley in from point-blank range, giving Verona a deserved lead.
Sampdoria did finally test Marco Silvestri on the hour mark with a long-range snapshot from Jakub Jankto. It gave the Blucerchiati confidence and a flurry of chances followed, as Silvestri fingertipped a Fabio Depaoli header on to the top of the crossbar, then on the resulting corner parried Lorenzo Tonelli’s attempt.
Samp had been threatening and equalised on 77 minutes. Depaoli was involved again, his cross from the right finding Fabio Quagliarella to hit it first time from just inside the area.
The tide was turning and VAR was called into action when Pawel Dawidowicz jumped with a flailing elbow that struck Albin Ekdal inside the penalty area. A spot-kick was awarded and Quagliarella completed his brace and the turnaround by converting it. That was the veteran’s sixth goal in his last six Serie A appearances.
There was some confusion deep into stoppages, as the referee at first showed a straight red card for Karol Linetty’s tackle through the back of Zaccagni. However, after viewing it on the VAR on-field monitor, he changed his mind and made it a yellow card.
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