Sampdoria and Genoa failed to convert their chances in a tense Derby della Lanterna and a point apiece does little for either side.
The Derby della Lanterna was worth far more than just local pride this time, as the Blucerchiati were in the hunt for Europa League places and the Grifone weren’t yet clear from the threat of relegation. Both sides played rescheduled Serie A games midweek and won, ending a negative streak. Fabio Quagliarella returned from injury and Gianluca Caprari was preferred to Gaston Ramirez. Genoa were still unable to count on Miguel Veloso and Armando Izzo.
Genoa had won only one of the last eight derbies, 3-0 as the ‘away’ side in May 2016, along with a 1-1 draw and six defeats, failing to find the net in four of them.
Samp were forced into a change almost immediately, as Nicola Murru didn’t recover from Gianluca Lapadula accidentally landing on his knee.
Luca Rigoni’s chip was plucked out of the air and when Vasco Regini lost possession to spark a counter-attack, Lapadula’s angled drive was charged down in the box.
Goran Pandev had the ball in the back of the net, but only after he had been flagged marginally offside on a Lapadula knock-down.
Rigoni went down under pressure from Matias Silvestre as he ran on to a Pandev back-heel flick and Mattia Perin smothered a Quagliarella snapshot.
The teams came out fighting after a cagey first half, as Pandev’s pull-back from the by-line was intercepted and immediately Samp countered with Duvan Zapata, allowing Lucas Torreira to drill just wide.
The Blucerchiati lost Bartosz Bereszynski to injury too and had penalty appeals when Rigoni manhandled Dennis Praet, but the referee felt he had gone down too easily.
Gianluca Caprari blasted over and Lapadula couldn’t shake off his marker to make contact with an Oscar Hiljemark assist rolled across the face of goal.
Quagliarella nutmegged a defender to set up Caprari, but Davide Biraschi celebrated his block as if it were a goal. Samp were increasing the pressure and forced a double save out of Mattia Perin, first with Linetty’s shot at the near post, then the Caprari follow-up.
Quagliarella’s rising strike from a tight angle was deflected on to the side-netting by Biraschi, while Andrej Galabinov made his comeback from injury and immediately had the ball in the net, but only after he was flagged offside on an Isaac Cofie effort.
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