Nikola Kalinic and Federico Dimarco’s splendid finish allowed Hellas Verona to push past Crotone, although Junior Messias did get a consolation goal.
Hellas were still dealing with an injury crisis, as Darko Lazovic, Miguel Veloso, Andrea Favilli, Pawel Dawidowicz and Ronaldo Vieira were not fully fit. Crotone missed Ahmad Benali and Luca Cigarini again.
Mattia Zaccagni had early penalty appeals waved away, as he fell under pressure from the defender, but it wasn’t really a push.
Verona had by far the better start and took the lead when Antonin Barak’s slide-rule pass released Nikola Kalinic, the striker keeping his cool to drill into the far bottom corner.
Hellas have shown a tendency to score spectacular goals lately and Federico Dimarco added another to the list. It was deceptively tricky, as he combined with Zaccagni down the left to cut inside and anticipated everyone with a five-a-side football style ‘puntero’ off the outside of the left boot into the far bottom corner.
Barak thought it must be 3-0 on 38 minutes, but Alex Cordaz somehow managed the reaction save from point-blank range.
Crotone scored with practically their first real chance after the restart, as Arkadiusz Reca whipped in a cross from the left, Pedro Pereira knocked it down at the back post for the acrobatic Junior Messias volley from six yards.
Barak couldn’t keep the finish down when set up by Dimarco, while Ebrima Colley thought he’d sealed it in stoppages with a half-volley that smacked against the crossbar.
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