Verona and Inter Share Spoils In Vibrant Bentegodi Battle

Verona and Inter shared the spoils in a vibrant game at the Marc’Antonio Bentegodi Stadium on Thursday night in the last fixture of Serie A Round 31. Miguel Veloso ultimately equalized for the home side after Antonio Candreva’s brace – with the help of Federico Dimarco’s unfortunate deflection – had overturned Darko Lazovic’s rapid lead, sealing a 2-2 score which was of little use to both sides.

Ivan Juric’s Verona have been the surprise package of the season but the Scaligeri needed to make a full score in order to cultivate some chances of grabbing a spot for next season Europa League. Verona now lies six points behind 7th-placed Milan with seven games to go. The Scaligeri did all well in the first half but suffered Inter’s come back early after the restart and managed to save the day only late in the game.

Antonio Conte and his black-and-blue boys (who actually wore a hideous pale-blue jersey tonight) also needed the three points in order to take advantage of Lazio’s defeat and move closer to the second spot in the table. The draw at the Bentegodi rather resulted in them being overtaken by Atalanta in the third place. But, considering that Inter were coming from a 1-2 loss to Bologna and ended the first half down 0-1, it could have been even worse than that…

Another disappointment for Antonio Conte and Inter…after losing 1-2 to Bologna, the Nerazzurri risked a lot against Verona and couldn’t snatch more than a 2-2 tie

Ivan Juric made five changes versus the game he lost in Brescia earlier in the week, including striker Mariusz Stepinski instead of Samuel Di Carmine.

Antonio Conte recovered Milan Skriniar after a three-match ban and gave a chance from the start to Alexi Sanchez in place of Lautaro Martinez. Christian Eriksen was also dropped to the bench for Borja Valero.

Inter had no other option but to win, and yet their start was disastrous. After less than two minutes, Darko Lazovic shocked Conte’s side as he galloped all the way through the left flank, dribbled Milian Skriniar, and surprised Samir Handanovic on his near post with a clever finish. 

Miguel Veloso’s snapshot in the 18th minute hit Handanovic’s left post, giving another big scare to a Nerazzurri side which failed to pose any threat to the opposition goal. After 20 minutes, it was all Verona at the Marc’Antonio Bentegodi Stadium.

Inter’s first shot finally came in the 25th minute: It was a conclusion by Roberto Gagliardini saved by Marco Silvestri. Verona’s keeper used his reflexes to deflect above the bar a free-kick from Alexis Sanchez a few minutes later – but nothing to be overly concerned with. 

All in all, it was a truly forgettable first period for the Nerazzurri, with Sanchez almost non-existent and Romelu Lukaku well-controlled by 20-year-old defender Marash Kumbulla.

Soufyan Amrabat battles with Inter’s Romelu Lukaku. The Verona’s Moroccan midfielder’s rough style of play was instrumental to keep the Nerazzurri at bay, especially during the first half

Inter tried to change the pace right after the restart with an Antonio Candreva’s shooting chance from out-of-the-box. The Gialloblu keeper did his duty again as he palmed the ball away. It was the prelude to the visitors’ equalizer, which came one minute later when again Candreva was the fastest to pounce on the ball and tap it in after Romelu Lukaku’s effort hit the post.

Candreva sealed his brace in the 54th minute as his cross from the right side found Federico Dimarco’s unlucky deflection which put the ball past Marco Silvestri and turned the game in Inter’s favor.

Verona had a chance to level off straight after that as Dimarco tried to redeem himself with a long-range cross to find Davide Faraoni alone in the Nerazzurri‘s box. Verona’s number 5, however, sent the ball crashing above the crossbar from point-blank range.

With Inter now more in control, Gagliardini’s cross from the left in the 73rd minute served a golden assist to Borja Valero, whose header missed the target.

Conte sent in Lautaro Martinez two minutes later, pulling off Romelu Lukaku. The Toro was eager to play and clearly showed it in the 80th minute with a powerful progression and a vicious shot that called Silvestri to another save.

But Verona still had something to say. In the 85th minute, the Scaligeri scored the second thanks to a brilliant initiative by Amir Rrhamani, who made his way past two Inter defenders before serving Miguel Veloso a service from which Verona’s captain made no mistake.

There was still time for a long-range cross by Samuel Di Carmine (who had replaced an abulic Mariusz Stepinski early in the second period) which almost turned into a challenge to Handanovic, but the score didn’t change anymore despite six minutes of stoppage time. 



July 9, 2020 – Serie A 2019-2020 Round 31

SCORERS: 2′ Lazovic (V), 49′ Candreva (I), 54′ Dimarco (V, o.g.), 85′ Veloso (V)

VERONA (3-4-2-1): Silvestri; Rrhamani, Gunter, Kumbulla (83′ Empereur); Faraoni, Amrabat, Veloso, Dimarco (65′ Adjapong); Pessina, Lazovic (83′ Verre); Stepinski (53′ Di Carmine) (Berardi, Radunovic, Lovato, Terracciano, Lucas, Badu) Coach: Juric
INTER (3-4-1-2): Handanovic; Godin, De Vrij, Skriniar; Candreva, Gagliardini, Brozovic (69′ Vecino), Young; Borja Valero (87′ Eriksen); Lukaku (75′ Lautaro Martinez), Sanchez (Padelli, Berni, Ranocchia, Pirola, Biraghi, Asamoah, Agoume, Esposito) Coach: Conte

REFEREE: Mr. Irrati from Pistoia
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Dimarco, Amrabat, Gunter, Young; Extra Time: 2′, 2nd Half 6′