Sampdoria hammer Verona
Sampdoria put Hellas Verona to the sword and climbed towards the top half of the Serie A table with a resounding 5-0 victory.
Last Updated: 23/03/14 4:19pm
Sampdoria put Hellas Verona to the sword and climbed towards the top half of the Serie A table with a resounding 5-0 victory at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.
The Genoese club took full advantage of a limp Verona side who appear to have given up somewhat after reaching 40 points and effectively securing a second season in the top flight.
Two goals from Roberto Soriano plus efforts from Gianluca Sansone, Renan and Angelo Palombo steered Samp to their best victory of the 2013-14 campaign so far and they are now within two points of catching 10th-placed Torino.
It was a third defeat on the spin for Verona, who will struggle to hold onto eighth place having occupied a Europa League berth for most of the autumn.
A furious Sinisa Mihajlovic tore into his Samp players following last weekend's 3-0 humbling by Atalanta and, eager to avoid another dressing down from the Serbian, they set about dismantling Verona.
It took Sansone only three minutes to open the scoring.
The former Torino forward yelled at Renan to pass the ball when Samp broke forward, and duly tucked away the rebound when the Brazilian's shot was spilled.
Verona tried to fight back and went close to levelling through Luca Toni, who missed from close range when clear through on goal, and Juan Iturbe, whose snap-shot shaved paint off a post.
There would be a third opportunity in as many minutes for the visitors as Romulo danced past home goalkeeper Angelo Da Costa only to put the ball wide.
Samp had weathered the storm and, moments after Sansone watched Rafael punch his fierce drive out for a corner, they made it 2-0.
With 23 minutes on the clock Renan picked his spot from just outside the area and Rafael could get nowhere near.
Goal number three arrived seven minutes before the break. Vasco Regini pulled the strings, his pass from the left rolling into Soriano's path and the Germany-born striker gratefully rifled the ball beyond the hapless Rafael.
Verona welcomed the half-time interval and they should probably have just stayed in the dressing room.
Just three minutes into the second half, Soriano fired Samp four goals clear as his swerving left-footed drive skipped past Rafael.
The match was over as a contest but Samp were not satisfied and duly thumped home a fifth.
It was the defensive wall that let Rafael down on this occasion as Palombo enjoyed the freedom of Genoa when whipping his free-kick into the top corner.
The pressure was off for Verona and, although the day was lost, they came close to spoiling Samp's clean sheet as Toni and then Emil Halfredsson peppered Da Costa's goalmouth with quickfire efforts.
Michael Rabusic was handed a rare run-out off the Verona bench and almost announced himself with a goal, his attempt from a tight angle giving Da Costa some rare food for thought.