Verona tried to fight back, but Sampdoria struck twice with classic counter-attacks to earn a surprise 2-1 away victory.
Hellas had Federico Ceccherini back from suspension, but Nikola Kalinic, Andrea Favilli, Ronaldo Vieira and Marco Benassi were on the treatment table, leaving limited options in attack. Samp surprisingly left Antonio Candreva out of this trip as a response to his attitude in training, with Morten Thorsby suspended, Keita Balde Diao, Manolo Gabbiadini and Bartosz Bereszynski injured.
Marco Silvestri was alert on Antonino La Gumina’s glancing header from a corner, while Antonin Barak went on a mazy run through the entire Samp defence, only to be denied by Emil Audero.
Samp took the lead just before half-time. There was a poor clearance and Albin Ekdal didn’t think twice, thumping his ferocious finish from the D into the near bottom corner.
Just as Verona were pouring forward, they left themselves completely open on the counter and Valerio Verre made the most of it with an extraordinary goal. He gathered from a Hellas corner and ran the entire length of the pitch to finish it off, but refused to celebrate against his old club.
Verona did get back into it when Kevin Ruegg was brought down from behind by Mikkel Damsgaard, and Mattia Zaccagni converted successfully.
Zaccagni almost equalised in stoppages, his cross-shot stinging Audero’s gloves from a tricky angle.
On the resulting corner, VAR called the referee to view Barak’s stamp on La Gumina and he was sent off for violent conduct.
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Sent off: Barak 93 (V)