Serie A Week 37 - 12 May 2018 (17.00 UK)
1 - 0 Genoa
Diabate 86 (B)
Stadio Ciro Vigorito

Benevento bow out of Serie A with another impressive result, as they beat Genoa thanks to Cheick Diabate and Christian Puggioni heroics.

There was precious little to play for here, as Benevento said goodbye to Serie A with their final home game and the Grifone had already secured mid-table safety. Luca Antei, Pietro Iemmello, Guilherme and Filip Djuricic were among those missing out, while Goran Pandev and Ervin Zukanovic sat out bans along with injured Mattia Perin, Diego Laxalt, Daniel Bessa and more. Darko Lazovic pulled out with a muscular problem in the warm-up, making way for Aleandro Rosi.

Djimsiti should’ve scored when peeling away from Isaac Cofie, but turned a free header wide of the near post from a Benevento corner, then Gaetano Letizia’s angled drive flashed across the face of goal to skim the upright.

Rosi was a last-minute addition to the starting XI, but he too limped off before the half-hour mark to make way for Nicolas Spolli.

El Yamiq impressed in the Genoa defence, intercepting a dangerous ball rolled across for Cheick Diabate in the six-yard box, and Gianluca Lapadula’s strike was too close to the goalkeeper.

Substitute Spolli picked up another muscular problem, but there was a flurry of activity on the hour mark. Giuseppe Rossi dribbled through a crowd to force a one-handed save from Christian Puggioni, then Lapadula went down under a nudge from behind by Bright Gyamfi.

While Genoa were complaining and wanted a penalty, Benevento countered and forced a corner, from which Djimsiti saw his header go over the bar from five yards.

Puggioni performed two spectacular saves in quick succession, as he made himself big to deny Oscar Hiljemark one-on-one, then got back on his feet and leaped to fingertip the Stephane Omeonga follow-up out from the far top corner.

Suddenly the game was wide open, as Eugenio Lamanna was at full stretch to push a Nicolas Viola daisy-cutter round the post and Rossi intercepted a Sandro pass to skim the upright.

There was finally a breakthrough four minutes from time. Enrico Brignola deserved much of the credit, as he started the run from his own half, shrugged off two tackles and rolled it across perfectly for Cheick Diabate to blast under the bar from the penalty spot.

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: Puggioni; Sagna, Djimsiti, Tosca, Letizia; Sandro, Cataldi (Gyamfi 67), Viola; Parigini (Coda 46), Diabate (Sanogo 89), Brignola
Genoa: Lamanna; Biraschi, El Yamiq, Izzo; Rosi (Spolli 28) (Salcedo 67), Hiljemark, Cofie, Bertolacci, Omeonga; Medeiros (Rossi 56), Lapadula
Ref: Chiffi