Sampdoria had a disastrous first half, but fought back from 2-0 down to beat Livorno 4-2 in this thriller.
The Blucerchiati have been reborn under Sinisa Mihajlovic and pulled themselves into mid-table comfort. The Amaranto were also revived since Mimmo Di Carlo took over and held Napoli to a draw last week, though they were still in the relegation zone. Andrea Luci and Luca Siligardi missed out for the visitors.
Livorno had only one Serie A victory at Marassi, a 2-0 result in January 2006, along with one draw and six defeats.
A Manolo Gabbiadini cross-shot was fingertipped out from under the bar and on the resulting corner Marco Biagianti needed practically a goalline clearance.
Livorno went extremely close to a shock opener after 11 minutes, as Ishak Belfodil went on the counter and crossed for a Paulinho volley to smack against the crossbar.
The Amaranto did take the lead with a well-worked move. Belfodil burst down the left and set up Djamel Mesbah, who pulled back for Ibrahima Mbaye’s tap-in from six yards off the crossbar.
Gabbiadini’s free kick took a deflection and was looping under the bar, but Francesco Bardi performed a stunning save. From that corner, Eder’s half-volley was charged down.
Livorno doubled their advantage at Marassi with another good move. Leandro Greco ran down the left and his pull-back was flicked on by Marco Benassi for Mbaye to tap in from four yards.
It was almost 3-0, as Ceccherini’s header from a corner glanced inches wide of the far post.
Sinisa Mihajlovic made two substitutions at the break and they proved inspired, as after four minutes Nenad Krsticic pulled a goal back. Bardi flew to beat away a Roberto Soriano strike, but could only palm it into the path of Krsticic.
Samp completed the comeback within another four minutes, as Mbaye knocked a cross back and Ceccherini accidentally deflected it into his own net from seven yards.
Livorno were in shock and Eder’s angled drive was desperately charged down moments later, while Soriano’s half-volley hit the side-netting after a Stefano Okaka knockdown.
Samp were fired up and turned the game around when Okaka’s snapshot took a deflection off Andrea Coda to wrong-foot Bardi.
The Blucerchiati kept pushing and Bardi got the slightest of touches on to Gabbiadini’s counter-attack to turn it inches wide of the near post.
Livorno poured forward, but left themselves exposed at the back and this time Gabbiadini did not fail on the counter.