A week is a long time in football and as far as Chievo Verona are corncerned, none more so than the past seven days. A week ago the Stadio Bentegodi outfit went into a home clash with Lazio brimming with confidence having completely outplayed their visitors in the last game before Christmas on their own patch. It was like watching a completely differnt side on that Wedsnesday night in the Stadio Olympico in December.
The passing and movement on offer from Domenico Di Carlo’s side was at times breath-taking as they played their hosts off the park in a game in which a two or even three nil victory wouldn’t have been undeserved. They created double the amount of chances of their more illustrious opponents.
Seven days ago however, the tables were turned. What was deemed as the start of a good week for the Stadio Bentegodi outfit, soon turned into a nightmare. Two very late goals, though they may have flattered Lazio, couldn’t hide the fact that Di Carlo’s men just weren’t at the races as they crashed to a 3-0 home defeat. A Miroslav Klose double showing the current gulf in class between the two sides. The Gialloblu had their chances but overall Lazio’s movement caused them too many problems all afternoon.
It was harder for the Bentegodi faithful to take when just four days previously they had seen a rather toothless performance from their side as they departed the Coppa Italia quarter-final rather limply, losing 1-0 at home to a 10 man struggling Siena side. Imediately Di Carlo turned his attentions to the following Thursday when he would lead his troops into battle away at basement boys Novara in a game Chievo really needed to win.
The game marked the return to the bench of Emiliano Mondonico a year after resigning as coach of Albinoleffe to concentrate on fighting the cancer he had been diagnosed with and he had a large tumour removed from his stomach. Instead it was another man who stole the headlines on the night with ‘Flying Donkeys’ captain Sergio Pellissier putting his side in front and in doing so notched his 100th goal for the club he loves. By this time the Gialloblu were well and truly on top and perhaps should of gone into the halftime break two or three goals up after near misses by Cyril Thereau and Alberto Paloschi and one by right back Gennaro Sardo.
Di Carlo’s men finally seemed to make the game safe with a goal from in form Frenchman Thereau, but just over a minute later Novara reduced the arears with Giuseppe Mascara’s diving header. The Gialloblu held on rather comfortably to record their second away win of the season and momentarily move them up to tenth place in the table.
The win should have set the Verona based side up for an expected sixth home win of the season against Parma on Sunday. New Coach Roberto Donadoni looked on as the home side took control in the first half with Cyril Thereau and Paolo Sammarco pulling the strings in the middle of the park. It was Parma who took the lead much to the home fans surprise just a minute into the second half and when it came it was a goal of outstanding quality. Sebastian Giovinco, the Atomic Ant, controlled a long through ball from Mariga, flicking it past Marco Andreolli before smashing a left foot volley beyond Stefano Sorrentino.
Parma were only ahead for four minutes however as a horrendous slip by Christian Zaccardo allowed Cyril Thereau to nip in and force the ball home from six yards. It was surprisingly the away side that got the winner with twenty minutes left. A Giovinco free-kick from the right was whipped low into the box and Brazilian midfielder Luciano sliced it comically with his left foot past a stunned Sorrentino at his near post. There was still time for Chievo to miss two or three late chances to grab a point, leaving Di Carlo desparately disappointed.
The Gialloblu now gear up for a difficult away trip to Naples next Sunday to face an out of sorts Napoli side. Di Carlo’s men defeated the Partenopi 1-0 back on matchday three with the only goal coming from Davide Moscardelli. It was a shock first win of the season for the Bentegodi outfit and came against the backdrop of Walter Mazzarri dropping several first team regulars ahead of a series of tough Champions League encounters. With the knock-out stages of the premier European club competition about to begin, will he risk dropping the same players with the Chelsea tie in mind despite the faltering league form?
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