Claudio Ranieri believes Sampdoria were largely ‘able to muzzle Sassuolo’ and were only beaten by a moment of Domenico Berardi intuition.
The Blucerchiati lost 1-0 at the Mapei Stadium to a Berardi overhead kick.
“I am very satisfied with the first half. We were able to muzzle Sassuolo, who tried to break through the central channels, and just should’ve done better on the counter,” Ranieri told DAZN.
“In the second half, we lowered the tempo and started to struggle. The goal was ultimately a strange incident, as the header was charged down and he reacted quicker on the rebound. My team deserves praise, because it is not easy to press a side that plays one and two-touch football.
“It was a good, clean game and the players of the two teams I think helped the referee on his Serie A debut by not protesting too much.”
Sampdoria had penalty appeals in the final minutes for Gian Marco Ferrari’s elbow catching an Antonino La Gumina cross.
“I saw it, it is not a penalty. If he’d got it with the other arm that was outstretched, yes, but the near arm was on his body.”
Keita Balde Diao made a rare start and had several big blocks inside his own penalty area too.
“He worked really hard to defend impossible balls and then tracked back to help the midfield.”
Inevitably, Ranieri was asked about his future and the on-going contract negotiations with Sampdoria.
“We are talking,” smiled the coach. “There will be a definitive meeting soon. There’s no rush.”