SCOTT PETERSON - Monday, February 20, 2012
Michael Bradley helped Chievo Verona grab a big road win on Sunday, as the Veronans employed an uncharacteristically offensive tactic to frustrate and defeat Genoa.
Although there was some speculation that head coach Mimmo di Carlo would sit Bradley in favor of Brazilian midfielder Luciano, who ran rampant against Genoa in their first meeting in September, Bradley got the start and went the distance for the visitors.
Di Carlo deployed a much more aggressive system than Chievo is used to, with Bradley setting up shop in the opponents half and pressing their opponents high up on the field, as the Flying Donkeys intended to test Genoa's suspect defense that had leaked a whopping 43 goals coming into the match.
The decision to attack caught Genoa by surprise and yielded a handful of scoring chances for Cheivo. The best of the early chances came in the 24th minute, as striker Cyril Thereau found himself with plenty of space to head Cruzado's cross without contest, but the Frenchman narrowly missed the target.
It was a signal of intent, however, and just six minutes later Thereau popped up in the right place at the right time again. This time the Frenchman was more clinical with his finishing, burying Sergio Pellissier's low cross with his right foot.
Genoa's best chance at an equalizer came in the 57th minute on the counter attack. Serbian striker Bosko Jankovic ran onto Rodrigo Palacio's cutting through ball, before seeing his left-footed effort parried expertly by Chievo keeper Stefano Sorrentino.
Palacio also had a chance himself to add to his team-leading 12 goals in the 90th minute, but the Argentine hammered his spinning shot just over the goal.
With the victory, Chievo leapfrogged Genoa in the standings to tenth place with 30 points. Next up for the Flying Donkeys is a home match against last-place Cesena on Sunday.