SCOTT PETERSON - Monday, May 14, 2012
Chievo Verona 1 - 0 US Lecce
Michael Bradley started for Chievo Verona against relegation-threatened Lecce, who had to say goodbye to the Serie A after losing to the Veronans by the narrowest of margins.
By all accounts leading up to the match, Bradley was not slated to start for the Flying Donkey, but Di Carlo sent out the American to man the midfield against the Leccesi, who needed a victory and some help from Genoa to stay in the Italian top-flight.
The first half failed to produce any goals, with the best chance falling to the guest's David di Michele in the 32nd minute. However, the best the Lecce captain could do was force an excellent save out of backup keeper Christian Puggioni.
Lecce needed the victory to have any chance of staying up, but Chievo's defense held firm and snuffed out the majority of the visitor attacks before they truly developed.
In the 78th minute, Lecce's faint glimmer of hope was extinguished when Alberto Paloschi found Karim Vacek on the right side of the box. The Czech then took the feed, and a touch, before firing low and hard past Massimiliano Benassińs left.
Chievo whittled down the last quarter of an hour and Lecce was relegated.
The victory capped off a successful season for Bradley and Chievo, as the Mussi Volanti finished in 10th with 49 points.