Torino dispose Hellas Verona, earn fourth straight Serie A win
Torino reached seventh place in the Serie A table by beating Hellas Verona 3-1 on Saturday night.
Giampiero Ventura's men made it four wins from four as Josef Martinez, Fabio Quagliarella and substitute Omar El Kaddouri kept Verona at arm's length in their own Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi. Luca Toni's late goal gave Verona hope they could force the draw, but El Kaddouri's last-gasp strike ensured they remained in 14th place and only six points clear of the relegation zone.
While Torino started brightly, Emiliano Moretti forcing Francesco Benussi into a save with an early header, Verona looked more incisive through the opening 30 minutes. Panagiotis Tachtsidis unleashed a fizzing left-footed drive that just missed the target and Toni was flagged offside when trying to turn home Javier Saviola's rebounding effort.
It was Torino who took the lead, though, with Martinez breaking through after 32 minutes. The Venezuelan notched his second league goal for Toro by capitalising on a slip from Rafael Marquez and pinging the ball past the surprised Benussi.
Emil Hallfredsson might have equalized in first-half stoppage time, but Daniele Padelli got gloves to his shot from the edge of the Verona box. Five minutes after the restart Torino were handed an opportunity to double their lead as Rafael Marques brought Martinez down in the penalty area.
Quagliarella converted from the spot, despite clipping the underside of the crossbar. Torino came very close to extending their lead in the 76th minute as Marco Benassi arrived in a great position to beat Padelli, yet his connection was poor and the chance went to waste.
With seven minutes remaining, Verona halved the deficit through Toni. Kamil Glik mistimed his tackle and the veteran striker slid in to beat Padelli with his left boot.
The hosts kept pushing as time ticked away and Toni might have doubled his tally in the 87th minute when he rose to meet a high cross, but his header sailed over the bar. However, dreams of a late comeback were finally extinguished in stoppage time as El Kaddouri raced 54 yards up the pitch before rubber-stamping Torino's victory with a finish inside the far post.