Sampdoria were humiliated 4-0 by Serbians Vojvodina in the ‘home’ leg of their Europa League preliminary round tie.
The first leg of the Europa League preliminary round was hosted by the Stadio Olimpico in Turin, as Marassi is not up to code. Because of their failure to name an alternative venue, Genoa were denied a UEFA licence and their place handed to city rivals Samp.
Walter Zenga was no stranger to Serbian football, having won the League title with Red Star Belgrade, while Vojvodina and Sampdoria were both coached by legend Vujadin Boskov. The Novi Sad side missed striker Miljan Mrdakovic, while Nino Pekaric was only fit for the bench. The Blucerchiati put Angelo Palombo in defence after stomach problems for Vasco Regini, moving Ervin Zukanovic to left-back.
It was the worst possible start for Zenga, as within four minutes Vojvodina had found space down the left side of the box and captain Mirko Ivanic placed an angled drive into the far bottom corner across Emiliano Viviano.
Aleksandar Stanisavljevic had set up the opening goal and almost added another moments later, as Viviano palmed his free kick round the base of the near post. Radovan Pankov then turned a free header over from a corner.
Samp finally emerged from their shell and Fernando’s free kick skimmed the upright, but they still risked going 2-0 down on a classic counter-attack when Stanisavljevic hit the crossbar.
There was a fine give-and-go between Eder and Luis Muriel, the finish shinned off target, while Nenad Krsticic scuffed horribly wide from a promising position with his weaker right foot.
A set play routine put Roberto Soriano clear on goal only for him to also mis-kick from 10 yards. Muriel went on a fine run, but again the finish was weak.
The second half started in similar fashion, as once again Sampdoria gave the ball away and were caught out on the counter for 2-0. Viviano did what he could on Ognjen Ozegovic, but could not prevent Stanisavljevic turning the rebound into an empty net.
Eder hit a missile of a free kick that Srdjan Zakula punched out from under the bar, while the goalkeeper was again decisive on a chance set up by Soriano.
Sampdoria collapsed completely with a moment of magic from Ozegovic, who ran on to a long ball on the edge of the box. Viviano rushed out and was caught in No Man’s Land, so Ozegovic lobbed into the empty net.
Ozegovic almost completed his brace late on, but came sliding in to turn wide while off balance.
Viviano’s one-handed save kept out Aleksandar Palocevic in stoppages, but moments later Ozegovic waltzed through the static defence to fire a fourth into the far bottom corner.
Unless there is a miracle in Novi Sad next Thursday, Sampdoria’s first foray into Europe since 2010 will end there and the Blucerchiati fans jeered the team off the pitch.
Sampdoria 0-4 Vojvodina
Scorers: Ivanic 4 (V), Stanisavljevic 48 (V), Ozegovic 58, 91 (V)
Sampdoria: Viviano; Cassani, Palombo (Regini 59), Silvestre, Zukanovic; Barreto, Fernando, Soriano; Eder, Muriel (Bonazzoli 73), Krsticic (Wszolek 59)
Vojvodina: Zakula; Vasilic, Pankov, Djuric, Nastic; Sekulic, Ivanic (Babic 87), Maksimovic; Stanisavljevic (Stamenic 85), Puskaric (Palocevic 71), Ozegovic
Ref: Ekberg (SWE)