Serie A Week 3 - 13 Sep 2015 (11.30 UK)
Verona 2 - 2 Torino
Toni pen 49 (V), Baselli 66 (T), Gomez Taleb 72 (V), Acquah 73 (T)
Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi
Torino fought back twice at the Bentegodi and the referee infuriated both sides in a thrilling 2-2 draw with Verona.
The Granata were top of the table going in with a 100 per cent record and gave new striker Andrea Belotti his debut. Emil Hallfredsson missed out for the hosts, while Toro were without Alexander Farnerud, Nikola Maksimovic, Alessandro Gazzi, Emiliano Moretti and Gaston Silva.
Hellas hadn’t won this fixture since 1986-87, managing only one draw from seven editions at the Bentegodi.
Rafael Marquez saw two headers from set plays skim the crossbar in the opening minutes, but the visitors’ injury crisis deepened when Danilo Avelar went off with a knee problem.
Juanito Gomez Taleb only glanced another header from Federico Viviani’s free kick and Bruno Peres scuffed a snapshot into the arms of Rafael. Luca Toni had a great chance on 41 minutes, but Daniele Padelli did very well to palm the header away one-handed. Another set play caused havoc in the box, but Eros Pisano couldn’t bundle it past Padelli from close range.
Toni was furious on the stroke of half-time, as he appeared to be pulled down by Cesare Bovo, but the referee waved away strong penalty appeals.
Verona were awarded a spot-kick for far less of an obvious foul straight after the restart, as Pontus Jansson might’ve made contact with Gomez Taleb as he was losing his balance. Toni buried the penalty into the roof of the net, but it felt like the referee making up for his earlier error.
Pisano again turned a header over from one of Viviani’s set plays, but Kamil Glik did the same on a Torino corner from close range, trying to redirect Fabio Quagliarella’s misplaced effort.
The rain absolutely poured down in the second half and that made conditions difficult. Rafael realised that when he spilled a Quagliarella angled drive, allowing Daniele Baselli a simple tap-in to equalise. It was the midfielder’s third goal in as many games since joining from Atalanta, so it’s already his most prolific ever campaign.
However, it didn’t last long, as soon after Juanito Gomez Taleb managed to flick his header past Padelli from another Viviani free kick.
The skies opened and so did the floodgates, as Torino fought back to equalise within 60 seconds. Rafael only flapped at a cross and Afriyie Acquah’s effort from the edge of the box squirmed into the near bottom corner.
There was more controversy when Vangelis Moras appeared to handle in the box, but the free kick was given against Glik for a minimal push.
Giampaolo Pazzini came off the bench and blasted not far off target, then Toni had more penalty appeals for a Bovo coming together, but this time it seemed weak and he was booked.
Verona: Rafael; Pisano, Marquez, Moras, Souprayen; Sala (Ionita 84), Viviani, Greco; Siligardi (Jankovic 63), Toni, Gomez Taleb (Pazzini 84)
Torino: Padelli; Molinaro, Glik, Bovo; Peres, Obi (Acquah 50), Vives, Baselli, Avelar (Jansson 15); Quagliarella, Belotti (Maxi Lopez 58)