SPAL ran riot against 10-man Sampdoria, who saw Gianluca Caprari sent off after 33 minutes, to stay in Serie A for another season.
The club from Ferrara has impressed in the first Serie A campaign for 50 years and went into the final 90 minutes of the season level on points with Crotone, but with a superior head-to-head record. They had to either win or match Crotone’s result at Napoli to stay in the top flight.
Coach Leonardo Semplici had a lot of problems to deal with, as Everton Luiz, Thiago Cionek and Bartosz Salamon sat out bans with Alex Meret injured. Samp missed out on Europe and made the trip without Duvan Zapata, Jacopo Sala, Edgar Barreto or Emiliano Viviano.
Sampdoria’s last Serie A victory away to SPAL was in November 1958, followed by four draws and three defeats, although admittedly the most recent was in 1967.
Within a few minutes, Gianluca Caprari was penalised for handball in the box as he charged down a Federico Viviani snapshot. Mirco Antenucci’s penalty squirmed into the near bottom corner to give SPAL the lead.
Caprari had a chance to make up for it, but his angled drive was beaten away by Alfred Gomis and Dennis Praet turned the rebound wide.
Caprari completed his nightmare game with a second yellow card for his crunching challenge on Felipe, leaving Sampdoria down to 10 men for an hour.
Antenucci tried to set up Alberto Paloschi rather than make the most of a deflected corner, but SPAL came flying out the blocks in the second half to finish the job.
Viviani’s cross went over Paloschi, but found Alberto Grassi for a header at the back post.
Moments later, Antenucci skipped past his defender and cut back on to his right foot for an angled drive from eight yards.
Vid Belec kept the scoreline down with a flying save on Paloschi’s volley, but Sampdoria did pull one back with a cracking Dawid Kownacki right-foot volley from 12 yards as the Capezzi headed assist dipped over his shoulder.
It was 4-1 in stoppages, but Paloschi’s goal was ruled offside using VAR, as Antenucci was already over when he made the assist.
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Sent off: Caprari 33 (Sam)