Fabio Quagliarella bagged a hat-trick as Sampdoria swept sorry Fiorentina aside at Marassi, ending their positive streak.
This was a head-to-head for potential European ambitions and they had already faced off on December 13, the Viola winning 3-2 in the Coppa Italia at the Stadio Franchi. Jacopo Sala sat out a ban, but Dawid Kownacki was given his first Serie A start. Fiorentina were missing Cyril Thereau, Simone Lo Faso and the suspended duo Jordan Veretout and Davide Astori.
The last time Samp lost to the Tuscans in Serie A was in November 2015, a run of three draws and one victory, home and away.
Giovanni Simeone tested Emiliano Viviano in the opening 90 seconds, then his glancing header flashed wide, while Marco Sportiello required a stunning save from point-blank range on Kownacki.
Samp took the lead when German Pezzella, who had just returned to the field after a knock, made a fresh-air clearance on Dennis Praet’s assist, allowing Fabio Quagliarella to drill home the angled drive.
Khouma Babacar was given a rare start and almost found the back of the net moments later, but scuffed over from 12 yards. Matias Silvestre had a similarly wasteful finish at the other end, but Samp can always count on their veteran hitman Quagliagol.
Quagliarella gathered a Gaston Ramirez through ball and smashed it into the roof of the net from 10 yards.
It was a Quagliarella hat-trick, left relatively unmarked to blast in after a splendid Ramirez back-heel flick, but the Fiorentina defence was completely static.
The Viola did get a consolation goal, as Riccardo Saponara knocked on a Cristiano Biraghi corner for Carlos Sanchez’s header from close range.
See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk