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Marco Silvestri performs heroics on Serie A debut for Verona


Marco Silvestri performs heroics on Serie A debut for Verona

The Italian goalkeeper put in a fine display, even though his side eventually lost 3-0.

Former Leeds United goalkeeper Marco Silvestri finally made his Serie A debut for new club Hellas Verona last night, after joining the side last summer. He was brought into the starting XI after regular starter Nicolas received a red card against Inter Milan and served a subsequent suspension.

Leeds fans will see that Verona lost 3-0 to Benevento, the Italian top-flight’s bottom side, and feel Silvestri put in one of his infamous poor performances.

That could not be further from the truth. Whilst the rest of his team was dreadful, Silvestri put in a class display. If it was not for the former Leeds man, the score could easily have been six or seven.

CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM – MARCH 08: Marco Silvestri of Leeds United during the Sky Bet Championship match between Cardiff City and Leeds United at the Cardiff City Stadium on March 8, 2016 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Silvestri made seven excellent saves, including two world-class one-on-one stops from Mali striker Cheick Diabate.


Such shot-stopping capabilities are not foreign to Leeds fans when they think of the Italian keeper. Silvestri, who spent two seasons as Leeds’ number one goalkeeper, always demonstrated excellent reflexes during his time at Elland Road. It was the other areas of his game, such as commanding the area and handling, that often let him down.

Last season he was replaced by Rob Green and in the summer sold to Verona as Leeds revamped the goalkeeping position. That ‘revamp’ has proved unsuccessful with youngster Bailey Peacock-Farrell now preferred to both summer recruits Felix Wiedwald and Andy Lonergan.

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 12: Leeds United goalkeeper Marco Silvestri kicks in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Charlton Athletic and Leeds United at The Valley on December 12, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images)

All three of Benevento’s goals were unstoppable. Diabate scored two close-range efforts whilst the opener from Gaetano Letizia was a rasping long-range drive into the top corner.

For Silvestri, it was a good night where he impressed the Verona fans with his display. Many will now hope he remains in between the sticks for their relegation battle with Crotone and Mirco Antenucci spearheaded SPAL. Based on last night’s performance, Leeds will wish they still had Silvestri after their goalkeeping troubles this term.

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Everton fan for my sins.

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