Marco Donadel and Luca Toni ended Verona’s crisis with a 3-0 win over Genoa despite playing 45 minutes with 10 men.
Hellas badly needed a boost after four consecutive defeats and had failed to score for 500 minutes of football, but Romulo was suspended and Juanito Gomez Taleb sidelined. Genoa were on fine form and fresh from a midweek win over Lazio, but the absentee list included Luca Antonini, Nicolas Burdisso, Francelino Matuzalem, Sime Vrsaljko, Juraj Kucka and the banned Daniele Portanova.
The Grifone had just one Serie A victory in Verona, 3-1 in 1957-58, along with three draws and four losses.
Marquinho almost scored in the opening minute, his shot beaten round the far post by Mattia Perin. At the other end, Alberto Gilardino – wearing a protective cast after fracturing a bone in his hand on Wednesday – got a touch to Paolo De Ceglie’s cross, but couldn’t quite keep it on target.
Giovanni Marchese used his face to charge down a Juan Iturbe effort from point-blank range.
Perin also plucked a Luca Toni header out of the air and performed an acrobatic save on Emil Hallfredsson’s cross-shot, though the linesman had already flagged as the ball had gone out of play.
Fabrizio Cacciatore had the ball in the net with a header at the back stick, but was flagged offside in an extremely close decision.
Marco Donadel finally ended Verona’s goal drought after 535 minutes of football when his daisy-cutter from 25 metres went in off the inside of the upright, giving Perin no chance. It was Donadel’s first Serie A goal since October 2010.
Marchese was decisive with a last-ditch tackle to deflect Iturbe’s shot as he pulled the trigger from nine yards.
However, there was a turning point just before the break when Michelangelo Albertazzi received a rather harsh second yellow card for a foul on Giuseppe Sculli, as it looked as if the striker had run into him.
From the resulting Stefano Sturaro free kick, it burst through the wall and Rafael did well to palm it off the line.
Despite being down to 10 men, Verona were holding on to their lead with relative comfort, as Marco Motta’s shot was powerful and off target from a Sculli assist.
Toni got his head to a Marquinho free kick, but unusually the veteran turned it over the bar from close range.
In fact, Verona doubled their lead in the final minutes. Genoa were camped out in the opposition half, so when the ball broke it was two-against-one on the counter. Marquinho showed great generosity to draw out the goalkeeper and roll across for Toni to tap into an empty net.
Toni still had time to add a third with a similar move, again unmarked to deposit in from close range.
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Sent off: Albertazzi 44 (V)