It somehow ended goalless at Marassi, as Sampdoria and Fiorentina had numerous chances to score.
This was a blast from the past for both ex-Viola Coach Sinisa Mihajlovic and former Samp star Vincenzo Montella, who were also ex-teammates at Marassi. The visitors needed a boost after their midweek 2-0 defeat to Milan, but were without David Pizarro, Manuel Pasqual, Mario Gomez, Giuseppe Rossi, Marvin Compper, Ante Rebic and the suspended Gonzalo Rodriguez. Vasco Regini sat out a ban for Samp and Juan Cuadrado effectively played as a right-back.
Samp had a very aggressive start and Eder went extremely close, his chest and volley skimming the post from six yards on a Lorenzo De Silvestri assist.
Neto smothered a Manolo Gabbiadini left-foot strike from the edge of the box, then Modibo Diakite charged down a Roberto Soriano long-ranger.
The Fiorentina goalkeeper flew across his goal to palm a Gabbiadini free kick round the near post.
Mati Fernandez had a fantastic opportunity, as his curler swerved over Junior Da Costa and shaved a coat of paint off the far top corner of the frame.
Cuadrado’s soaring header on a Josip Ilicic cross was smothered by Da Costa, as was a Matri left-foot strike.
After the restart Mati Fernandez fired over from a very promising position, while Neto parried a Maxi Lopez spin and De Silvestri tried to shoot from the tightest of angles, going over the bar.
Both Cuadrado and then Borja Valero had shots charged down in the six-yard box during the same move. Moments later it was Diakite who had to block as Gabbiadini was pulling the trigger on a counter-attack and Alberto Aquilani did the same on Maxi Lopez.
Juan Manuel Vargas came off the bench and almost scored with a sensational touched on free kick. The Peruvian hit a missile that smacked against the underside of the bar and bounced back off the ground.
Aquilani nodded a Borja Valero corner over and Massimo Ambrosini’s header from another Borja assist was well grabbed by Da Costa.
Matri has been fumbling goals all season and he turned a glancing header wide from six yards in stoppages at Marassi.
The tension got to Mihajlovic, who was sent off for dissent in stoppages, then on his way out shouted in the face of both the fourth official and the referee.