Serie A Week 18 - 15 Jan 2012 (14.00 UK)
Chievo 1 - 0
Sammarco 50 (C)
Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi

Chievo sent Palermo plummeting to yet another defeat thanks to Paolo Sammarco’s lone strike.

Just two games into his tenure and already Bortolo Mutti was under a lot of pressure following the 2-2 draw at Novara and 3-1 home defeat to Napoli. There were reports the Coach could be sacked and Devis Mangia brought back if he failed to get a result in Verona. He had to do without Abel Hernandez, Eran Zahavi, Eros Pisano and Afriyie Acquah, but Josip Ilicic returned from suspension to help new buy Franco Vazquez. Chievo were brimming with confidence after a huge midweek Coppa Italia upset in which they conquered Udinese’s Stadio Friuli to reach the quarter-finals.

Cyril Thereau fired just wide with an early solo effort, then Alberto Paloschi couldn’t get enough power behind his finish in front of Francesco Benussi.

It was all Chievo to begin with and Luciano also frightened Benussi, while the goalkeeper got down to palm a powerful Michael Bradley half-volley off the line.

Mauricio Pinilla aimed a weak header at Stefano Sorrentino, but Chievo took the lead five minutes into the second half.

Paolo Sammarco was left totally unmarked in the box and all the time in the world to control Luciano’s cross from the right, sweeping past a helpless Benussi from close range.

Palermo fought back with Sorrentino pushing a long-range Armin Bacinovic snapshot out from under the crossbar.

The Sicilians protested late on, as they claimed Nicolas Bertolo deserved a spot-kick at the 90th minute for a shirt-tug. 

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Chievo: Sorrentino; Sardo, Andreolli, Cesar, Jokic; Luciano, Bradley, Sammarco (Hetemaj 68); Thereau; Pellissier (Moscardelli 85), Paloschi (Acerbi 88)
: Benussi; Munoz, Silvestre, Mantovani, Balzaretti; Migliaccio, Bacinovic (Bertolo 77), Barreto; Vazquez (Miccoli 65), Ilicic; Pinilla (Budan 67)
Ref: Rocchi