Toni bags brace in Catania rout to go joint top
Veteran striker Luca Toni made up for his recent omission from Italy's World Cup squad with a brace in a 4-0 rout of Catania to tie Ciro Immobile as the top scorer in Serie A.
Toni was one of several ageing Italy stars, along with Francesco Totti and Antonio Di Natale, recently axed by current Azzurri coach Cesare Prandelli for this year's World Cup in Brazil.
The 36-year-old hit the net twice in the first half in a rain-drenched Verona to pull level with Torino striker Immobile on 20 goals ahead of the remainder of the weekend's matches.
Brazilian midfielder Marquinho scored Verona's third to virtually secure the points, with first-half substitute Juan Gomez adding a fourth on 74 minutes to give Andrea Mandorlini's side a European boost.
Verona moved up to provisional sixth place on 52 points, only five shy of fifth-placed Inter in the second and last Europa League spot offered by the league.
Parma, in seventh and one point further adrift, are away to Cagliari later while Milan, in eighth, on the same points, suffered a 2-0 reverse away to Roma on Friday.
Catania's 22nd reverse of the campaign left the Sicilians rock bottom, two points shy of Livorno and five adrift of Sassuolo who sit just above the drop zone.
Juventus striker Carlos Tevez sits third in Serie A with 18 goals ahead of Monday's visit to Sassuolo, with Argentinian compatriot Gonzalo Higuain fourth on 17 following Saturday's scoreless draw away to Inter.