The Derby della Lanterna ended 1-1 after an ill-tempered game that saw Sampdoria go down to 10 men and Francelino Matuzalem score from midfield.
Both these giants had won the Scudetto in the past, but were now battling to avoid relegation. Genoa were in particularly bad shape, as they went into the weekend in joint-penultimate place with Palermo and Siena. Thomas Manfredini returned from suspension and Juraj Kucka shook off a knock, but Cesare Bovo, Marco Rossi and Damiano Ferronetti missed out. Samp brought back Andrea Poli and Nenad Krsticic.
The Genoa Derby last ended in a draw in 2007, but Samp wanted revenge after two years ago this fixture doomed them to Serie B.
Lorenzo De Silvestri went on a wonderful run until he was cut off by a clean tackle inside the area. Francelino Matuzalem was first into the book for a woeful challenge on Krsticic after 12 minutes. That tackle eventually forced the Sampdoria midfielder off the pitch.
Sampdoria broke the deadlock with a very unusual goal, as Eder placed a snooker shot of a free kick beneath the wall as it jumped, leaving Sebastien Frey unsighted as it rolled in off the inside of the upright.
Poli charged down a dangerous Kucka strike, but the game was increasingly ill-tempered with numerous cards, scuffles and arguments.
An Antonio Floro Flores free kick was deflected wide, but Sampdoria went down to 10 men after Andrea Costa was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Moments later, Genoa got their equaliser when Matuzalem aimed either a sensational shot or a mistaken cross into the far top corner past a flailing Sergio Romero.
Another brawl broke out between De Silvestri and Juan Manuel Vargas. Daniele Gastaldello risked an own goal with an acrobatic clearance from a yard on Marco Borriello’s header.
Sent off: Costa 78 (S)