Parma got back on track by beating Sampdoria 2-0 with Antonio Cassano netting against his old club.
The Ducali’s Europa League hopes were dimming fast after a series of setbacks, losing three of the last five rounds. Gabriel Paletta returned from suspension, but Dias Felipe began his three-match ban for losing his cool against Cagliari and Antonio Mirante was sidelined. Shkodran Mustafi sat out a ban with Pedro Obiang injured.
Sampdoria’s emotions were heightened after the death of Scudetto-winning Coach Vujadin Boskov last week, a man Sinisa Mihajlovic said was “like a father” to him, as the Stadio Tardini held a minute’s silence before kick-off. Antonio Cassano also faced his former club, who he tried to re-join in January.
Roberto Soriano had the first chance, firing straight at the goalkeeper, then Parma opened the scoring with a classic counter-attack.
Jonathan Biabiany burst forward from a Samp corner and ran all the way into the opposition box, rolling across for Marco Parolo, whose poor first touch became an assist for Cassano. FantAntonio side-footed home from eight yards and refused to celebrate against his old club.
It should’ve been 2-0 moments later when Cassano set up Afriyie Acquah on another counter, but the midfielder failed to make the most of it, stinging Vincenzo Fiorillo’s gloves. From that corner, Alessandro Lucarelli’s tap-in was crucially cleared off the line by Daniele Gastaldello and Amauri’s follow-up straight at Fiorillo.
Manolo Gabbiadini’s snapshot was palmed round the post, then the striker saw his free kick smack against the base of the upright.
Cassano was inspired and chipped up the assist that Amauri only nodded into Fiorillo’s arms. Cassano also had penaly appeals before the break for a shot charged down by Vasco Regini’s arm, but the referee waved play on.
Christian Molinaro flashed a ball across the face of goal with Ezequiel Schelotto sliding in just unable to get the final touch from a couple of yards.
Biabiany also drilled just wide on a Marco Marchionni assist, then Nenad Krsticic ballooned over the bar from an excellent position.
Schelotto wasted an incredible chance to make it 2-0 late on, aiming a free header off target from Cassano’s cross.
Schelotto did make up for it in stoppages, when he stuck out a foot to redirect a wayward Molinaro angled drive from six yards.