Sampdoria only fell to Espanyol on penalties, but Gianluca Curci's injury could rule him out of the Champions League qualifiers.
The Blucerchiati gave a good account of themselves at the Estadì Cornellà last night in the 36th edition of the Ciutat de Barcelona trophy.
It started out badly, as goalkeeper Curci clattered into ex-Fiorentina striker Daniel Pablo Osvaldo and was forced off with a bruised thigh after just 14 minutes.
It remains to be seen how bad the injury is and if he'll recover in time for the Champions League preliminary round on August 17-18 and 24-25.
Youngster Vincenzo Fiorillo took over and impressed, keeping the goal untarnished for 90 minutes so the game had to be decided on penalties.
It was a fiery encounter in Cataluña with many fouls and free kicks. Despite the scoreline, there were also plenty of chances to break the deadlock.
Daniele Mannini's header on a Padalino cross from the left forced a terrific save from Alvarez just before half-time.
At the other end Fiorillo did well to deny a Rui Fonte angled drive, while Fernando Tissone and Nicola Pozzi also threatened.
Ending 0-0 after 90 minutes, the tournament was decided on a shoot-out. Fabrizio Cacciatore took Sampdoria's first kick and thumped the crossbar, but Fiorillo made up for it by saving Alvarez's effort.
After goals from Vladimir Koman, Daniele Dessena, Pozzi, Daniele Gastaldello and Franco Semioli, Espanyol won 6-5 when Casilla parried from Massimo Volta.
Espanyol 0-0 Sampdoria (6-5 on pens)
Espanyol: C Álvarez (Casilla 76); Chica (Moisés 46), Amat (Álvaro 46), Victor Ruiz (Pau 65), Dídac (Iván 46); Callejón (Galán 46), Forlín, Verdú (Rui Fonte 65), Coro (V Álvarez 46); Luis García (López 73), Osvaldo
Sampdoria: Curci (Fiorillo 14); Stankevicius (Cacciatore 46), Gastaldello, Lucchini (Rossini 76), Ziegler (Volta 67); Padalino (Koman 67), Palombo (Tissone 67), Poli (Dessena 46), Mannini (Semioli 71); Cassano (Marilungo 76), Pazzini (Pozzi 71)
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition  - £5,000 monthly.