Verona break unwanted run
Luca Toni scored twice as 10-man Hellas Verona finally snapped a run of Serie A defeats with a 3-0 victory over Genoa.
Last Updated: 30/03/14 4:30pm
Luca Toni scored twice as 10-man Hellas Verona finally snapped a terminal run of Serie A defeats with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Genoa at the Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi.
Verona had not won - or scored - since beating Livorno on February 23 and four-straight losses had dropped the early-season surprise package down to 10th place.
Marco Donadel did what no Gialloblu player had done in five-and-a-half matches when opening the scoring and, despite the fact Verona lost Michaelangelo Albertazzi to a red card, Toni's double put the hosts out of sight late on.
It took Verona a while to break their opponents down but it was one-way traffic for the 35 minutes that preceded Donadel's drought-ending goal.
Marquinho's left-footed shot on the volley was deflected wide before Juan Iturbe took a first-time chance from the Brazilian's cross and only just missed the mark.
Veteran striker Toni forced a desperate parry from Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin with a bullet header before Verona had a goal ruled out in the 31st minute.
Marquinho swung his corner kick into the Genoa box, where Fabrizio Cacciatore nodded it home, but referee Domenico Celi called offside.
It would not matter, though, as Donadel soon grabbed Verona their first goal in over 500 minutes of football.
Perin could not keep the former Fiorentina midfielder's daisy-cutter from spinning off a post and ending up in the back of the net.
The hosts would, however, end the first half in a weaker position.
Albertazzi had already been cautioned for tussling with Ricardo Centurion and saw red after earning a second yellow for fouling Giuseppe Sculli.
The dismissal did not seem to dampen Verona's spirits, and they picked up where they had left off when play resumed.
Iturbe quickly fed Toni, whose angled drive missed the far corner by inches, before a swift move between the same duo was closed down at the last moment by the Genoa backline.
Verona knew they needed a second goal and in the 71st minute, Toni glanced Marquinho's free-kick over the crossbar.
Genoa sensed their hosts' fear and went dangerously close to forcing the draw through Moussa Konate, whose volley flew into the stands from a good position.
But Verona weathered the storm and put the game to bed with a late double salvo.
Marquinho and Toni had run the match and combined well to end it as a contest - the Brazilian tricked Perin into making an early dive before passing to his team-mate, who swept into an empty net.
And Genoa looked helpless to resist in stoppage time as Toni converted his brace with another easy finish at the end of a Verona counter-attack.