Genoa suffered a 4-1 home defeat to Siena, but it was interrupted for 40 minutes for a fan protest as players were forced to remove their jerseys.
Few expected this to be a relegation dogfight with six rounds to go, but despite all their investments Genoa found themselves fourth-from-bottom and only two points clear of the drop zone. Siena were three points ahead of their opponents amid reports Coach Giuseppe Sannino would take over at Genoa next season.
Emiliano Moretti (Genoa), Gianluca Pegolo and Matteo Contini (Siena) sat out bans, while Emanuele Calaio and Belluschi were injured.
Alberto Gilardino and Giuseppe Sculli combined down the left for Rodrigo Palacio to nod wide, while Cesare Bovo’s free kick sailed just over the bar. It was all Genoa in the opening minutes and Davide Biondini also drilled past the post.
Despite all that pressure, it was Siena who broke the deadlock. A Franco Brienza free kick from a very tight angle down the right side took a slight deflection off the defensive wall to wrong-foot Sebastien Frey and fly into the far top corner.
Mattia Destro quickly made it 2-0 when he managed to get his cushioned header on the end of a cross despite being surrounded by three Genoa players at the back post. He did not celebrate against the club he is still co-owned by.
A Juraj Kucka free kick flashed wide and Alberto Malesani made a tactical switch, replacing left-back Alhassan with trequartista Cristobal Jorquera and moving to a three-man defence.
Cesare Bovo’s shot was beaten away, but it was a third for Siena. Grossi charged past Andreas Granqvist and pulled back for Brienza’s stop and volley from just inside the penalty area.
The fans at Marassi were furious and their protests forced Bosko Jankovic – who was in the stands – to be escorted out by stewards.
Genoa were AWOL and Frey parried Grossi’s shot for Brienza to turn the follow-up over the bar.
Straight after the restart it was a fourth for Siena, as Luigi Giorgi unleashed a left-foot curler under minimal pressure that left Frey rooted to the spot as it flew into the far top corner.
Frey used his legs to prevent Giorgi getting a second soon after. The Marassi ultras had seen enough and hurled fireworks on to the field to stop the game at the 54th minute, as hundreds marched down to the fences in order to hurl abuse at their players. There was absolute chaos and police used tear gas, while some ultras clambered on top of the tunnel, ensuring the players could not leave. Genoa captain Marco Rossi went to negotiate with supporters in a bid to get the game re-started, but the request was to remove their jerseys, as they were “unworthy” to wear them.
After 15 minutes of confusion, the referee and his assistants walked off the pitch, but some Genoa players stayed in a bid to calm the situation. It did not work, as instead the squad capitulated to the demands. Captain Rossi gathered together all the shirts in a pile and the scene clearly upset Giandomenico Mesto, who was crying as he handed his jersey over.
The only one who refused to remove his shirt was Giuseppe Sculli, who went to negotiate personally and insisted he was giving his al for the club. He too was weeping and was comforted by the ultras. This was a breakthrough and the fans agreed to let the game go ahead after more than half an hour.
It was a very strange atmosphere at Marassi, where many of the supporters had already left, while other fans sang with their backs to the pitch.
Genoa did get a goal back when Cristian Del Grosso accidentally turned the ball into his own net when at full stretch to intercept Palacio’s cross.
Game halted at the 53rd minute for 40 minutes due to crowd trouble.