Sampdoria laid siege to SPAL, eventually winning with two Fabio Quagliarella goals in injury time.
The Blucerchiati had hit a real negative streak in the closing weeks of 2017, managing just one point from five rounds. On the other hand, new boys SPAL were finding their groove with five points from a three-game unbeaten run going into Marassi, but were still hovering just above the relegation zone. Duvan Zapata was still not 100 per cent fit after a muscular injury, while the visitors missed Filippo Costa and Sauli Vaisanen.
The game took a while to get going on a terrible pitch, but eventually Gaston Ramirez saw his angled drive beaten away by the outstretched foot of goalkeeper Alfred Gomis.
SPAL thought they had scored on 35 minutes when Dias Felipe got his head to a corner, but goal-line technology was needed to ascertain the ball had not completely crossed over, thanks to a remarkable Emiliano Viviano save. He literally clawed it out from the net.
Samp evidently got the hairdryer treatment at half-time, as they came out for the restart at 200mph. There were shots coming in from all angles, as Dennis Praet, Gianluca Caprari’s header and a Gaston Ramirez strike all skimmed the woodwork.
SPAL survived the siege and had a fantastic chance on the counter, Viviano getting just enough to deflect an Antenucci angled drive across the face of goal.
Sampdoria did finally secure their victory with two Quagliarella goals in stoppages. The first was a fairly soft penalty call for Federico Viviani’s coming together with Ramirez, then moments later Dawid Kownacki rolled across on the counter for Quagliarella to come sliding in.