Fiorentina could not recover from a truly disastrous first half performance, as Sampdoria got their first win here in 13 years.
The Viola lost the opening game 3-0 to Inter, but inevitably would take a while to gel after making so many changes late in the transfer window. Only Riccardo Saponara was out of action, as ex-Genoa striker Giovanni Simeone faced Samp in what must’ve still felt like a Derby della Lanterna. The Blucerchiati missed Dodo and Patrik Schick, the striker on the verge of a move to Roma.
Sampdoria haven’t won in Florence since a 2-0 victory back in 2004, managing just five stalemates from the next 11 visits. The Viola are unbeaten against Samp in five meetings, home and away, including three straight draws.
Before kick-off, Edgar Barreto felt back pain and was replaced in the Sampdoria starting XI by Karol Linetty.
The hosts lost Valentin Eysseric to a sprained ankle early on and struggled badly, as Marco Sportiello got back to prevent a Fabio Quagliarella lob floating in.
The Blucerchiati took a deserved lead when Gaston Ramirez cut in from the right and his fierce shot was beaten into the path of Gianluca Caprari.
Moments later, Nenad Tomovic’s entirely obvious handling offence – literally slapping the ball away from his opponent – allowed Quagliarella to convert a powerful penalty.
This seemed to finally wake Fiorentina up and they began to pour forward, Gil Dias forcing a low save from Christian Puggioni with his strike and a decisive Vasco Regini deflection on Giovanni Simeone.
It was almost 3-0 after the restart, as Caprari sprung the offside trap and his lob skimmed the far post of an open goal.
However, Fiorentina did get one back with Bruno Gaspar just on for the awful Tomovic, pulling back from the by-line for Milan Badelj to side-foot home from 12 yards.
The Viola incredibly failed to equalise on 75 minutes, as a Cristian Biraghi corner bounced off Khouma Babacar’s chest and German Pezzella somehow didn’t get the final touch on the line, Puggioni scrambling clear.
They came even closer when Puggioni got down for a one-handed save on Babacar’s daisy-cutter, then used his foot to turn the Simeone follow-up on to the back post.
It was wide open, as Biraghi accidentally prodded the ball on to his own upright while trying to anticipate Quagliarella, then Chiesa’s acrobatic scissor-kick volley went just over.