Hellas Verona got back on track in pursuit of qualifying for their first UEFA competition in 34 years, defeating Genoa 1-0 to snap a four-game winless run.
Hoping to record a third successive top-half Serie A (SA) finish, it took the hosts only six minutes to elevate themselves into the ascendancy against their relegation-threatened Northern Italian adversaries. Continuing an enterprising campaign in front of goal, it did not take Giovanni Simeone long to add to his ever-growing tally, efficiently getting to the ball on the edge of the penalty area ahead of Johan Vásquez before slotting past the advancing Salvatore Sirigu.
Looking to record only their third league victory this season, the visitors were left indebted to Sirigu in the 23rd minute when the Italian international demonstrated his sharp instincts to tip Gianluca Caprari’s effort onto the right-hand post. With three points leading to contrasting parameters for both sides at either end of SA, Francesco Fourneau produced a number of bookings, before deciding to call a conclusion to a passionately-contested opening 45 minutes.
With only bottom side Salernitana having scored fewer goals this season, Genoa manager Alexander Blessin rolled the dice at HT, calling upon the services of Kelvin Yeboah and Pablo Galdames Millán. Unable to replicate their final third escapades throughout the second half, in the absence of Antonín Barák due to intestinal complications, Igor Tudor decided to freshen up his XI, making a double substitution heading into the final 20 minutes.
Verona remained in control of a lacklustre second half to register their ninth victory at the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi this season while handing Genoa their first defeat in nine matches.