One Game in Verona: The Visit of Sampdoria
The current international break serves as an ideal time to look below the comfort zone in search of club football.
Serie B is the setting for quite a few games this season that evoke memories of the past and it is with this nostalgia, that thoughts of observing the goings on in Italy’s second tier are powered. Verona’s story appeals to the desire for romance in the game of football, a romance that is more often not consigned to the realms of cup competitions. Sufficiently eulogised champions of Italy in 1985, the team’s fortunes took a turn for the worse over the coming years as relegation to Serie B and financial struggles saw Verona fall well below the radar and eventually into the third tier of Italian football. Last season saw them earn promotion back to Serie B and the success story that Novara have become will surely stoke the fire of Verona’s ambitions to take back the mantle of being Verona’s biggest club. Arguably by fanbase they continue to be so but while their bitter local rivals Chievo continue to stand above them in the national standings, the thought of being the second team of Verona irks their supporters.
They’ve adjusted rather well to life in the second tier and found themselves in mid-table going into this week and a home game against opposition of a higher historical calibre than most in the division: Sampdoria.
What follows is a “word-by-word” account of the game.
Wednesday October 5th 2011
Hellas Verona v Sampdoria
at Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi
Verona: Rafael, Maietta, Ceccarelli, Russo, Abbate, Scaglia, D’Alessandro, Tachtsidis, Halfredsson, Ferrari, Juanito.
Sampdoria: Costa, Castellini, Gastaldello, Volta, Rispoli, Padolino, Semioli, Bentivoglio, Dessena, Pozzi, Bertani
Night. Verona. Romance. Calcio. Anticipation.
Initiate. Kicking. Cheering. Crowd. Rumble. Whistle. Go!
Pass. Pass. Lost. Out. In. Play. Touch. Roll. Repeat. Hopeless.
Repetition. Lengthy. Tedium. Creating. Nothing. Goalkeeper. Tasks. Routine.
Pass. Pass. Mistake. Lost. Run. Semioli. Box. Defender. Tumble. Penalty! Whistle. Poised. Pozzi. Converted. GOAL! 0-1! Pozzi! Opportunity. Solitary. Taken.
Caution! Volta. Deserved.
Reaction. Verona. Attacking. Energy. Better. Tactics? Odd. Over-play? Still.
Foul. Russo. Needless. Bentivoglio. Free-kick. Ballooned. Waste.
Verona? Better. Short. Pass. Long. Wasteful. Wider. Crossing. Poor. Attack? Naive. Limitation? Generic.
Sampdoria? Reactionary. Typical. Coping. White. Wall. Effective.
Confusion. Chance? Verona. Pressure. Immediate. Intense. Shot! Dragged. Goalkeeper. Comfortable.
Delay. Injury. Head. Minor. Protestations. Denied. Resume? Please.
Right. Lob. Right. Direction. Box. Head. Flick. Looping. Goalkeeper. Stranded. Stretching. GOAL! 1-1! Juanito! Technique? Great. Header. Brilliant. Game? On.
Verona. Tempo. Escalation. Sampdoria. Sluggish. Over-run.
Gap. Widening. Sampdoria. Attack? Far. Others? Further.
Verona. Room. Build? No? No. Rejection. Preference? Wings. Cross. Option. One. Inside. Two. Congestion.
Chance? Fleeting. Sampdoria. Space. Left. Cross. Front. Flick. Beyond. Running. Failed. Out. Pace? Greater.
Sampdoria. Momentum. Struggling. Pass. Pass. Misplaced. Clearance. Vain. Hopeful. Fortune? Rare.
Halfredsson. Active. Free-kick. Shot! Goalkeeper. Pressure. Tipped. Out.
Chance? Juanito. Shot! Distant. Hopeful. Goalkeeper. Hold. Comfortable.
Whistle. BREAK. 1-1.
Verona. Possession? Greater. Intent. More. Time. Space. Needing? Aggression. Middle. Exploit.
Sampdoria. Mistakes. Reliant. Frailties. Counter. Hope. Midfield? Struggling. Pozzi? Little. Bertani? Who? Bertani? No.
Restart. Fast. Last. Block. Chance? Verona. Shot! Block.
Fouls. Again. Needless. Flanks. Again.
Disruption. Continued. Fouls? Minor. Verona. Pressure.
Ferrari. Alone. Stature? Growing.
Sampdoria. Structure? Improving. Dessena. Wasteful.
Verona. Difficulty? Hard. Space? Limited. Sampdoria. Defending. Attacking? Poor.
Whistle. Play. Whistle. Play. Whistle. Irritation. Breaking. Monentum. Insufficent.
Forward. Burst. Halfredsson. Running? Yes. Pass. Chance? Delay? Chance? No. Squandered. Shame.
Halfredsson. Chance? Shot! Goalkeeper. Tipped. Out. Corner. Halfredsson? Key. Gates. Opening.
Substitution. Sampdoria. Pozzi. Sweating. Tired? Why? Off. On. Piovaccari. Talent. Expectations. Rise.
Abbate. Left. Cross. Juanito. Chance? Header. No? Mess. Connection? Where? Over. Wasted. How?
Substitution. Verona. D’Alessandro. Replaced. Mancini. On.
Verona. Rediscovery? Space.
Substitution. Sampdoria. Semioli. Fallen. Removed. Laczko. Energetic. On.
Persistent. Laczko. Work. Left. Inside. Bertani. Chance? Shot! Dragged. Close. Goalkeeper. Beaten. Post. Close. Side? Wrong.
Bertani. Space. Masses.
Break. Chance? Piovaccari. Hesitant. Keeper. Scrambling. Rounded? No. Goalkeeper. Block. Whistle. Flag. Late. Offside. Lucky.
Verona. Tiring? Maybe. Sampdoria. Chances? Accumulating. Space. Opening.
Substitution. Sampdoria. Dessena. Injury. Limping. Soriano. On.
Halfredsson. Chance? Shot! Fearless. Harmless.
Substitution. Verona. Juanito. Scored. Missed. How? Off. Bjelanovic. On.
Improvement. Back. Forth. Back. Forth. Mistake. Mistake. Momentum. Switch. Back Forth. Whistle. Play. Whistle. Play. Whistle. Play. Whistle. Whistle. Shame. Domination.
Substitution. Last. Ferrari. Task? Thankless. Tiring. Off. Esposito. On. Safety?
Settling. Outcome. Play. Diminishing. Pressure. Adequate. Motions. Preference? Block. Attack? No. Sad.
Whistle. Game? Over. 1-1. Verona. Deserved? More. Sampdoria. Pleased.
So that was that. It has taken two days to rediscover the form of sentences longer than one word. The game was certainly entertaining although not quite as entertaining as had been hoped.
Both teams can certainly be looking towards promotion as a target but it would be unlikely for the home side who may look to consolidate in Serie B before pushing on. It’s safe to say it is something that Sampdoria simply have to do otherwise they could become the next Torino and spend a few years struggling in the second division. Torino are currently sitting at the top of the Serie B table but given how close the league looks, expect that to change over the coming weeks.
Torino are in fact the next visitors to Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi this Sunday. It’ll certainly test their promotion credentials and a victory for Verona really would add further excitement for what is beginning to be a fantastically competitive season in Serie B. As for Sampdoria, they returned home with their fortunate point and wait to host Sassuolo on Sunday.