Sampdoria dominated Napoli and ruined their perfect record with a Gregoire Defrel brace and truly incredible Fabio Quagliarella back-heel flick.
The Partenopei had won both opening fixtures by completing comebacks against Lazio and Milan, but Carlo Ancelotti broke with Maurizio Sarri’s tradition by resting both Marek Hamsik and Jose Callejon, giving Simone Verdi his debut. Samp made an emotional return to Marassi, their first since the Morandi bridge collapse killed 43 people in the city. Riccardo Saponara got his first start.
Sampdoria had not beaten Napoli since a 1-0 result here in May 2010, followed by three draws and 11 losses, home and away. That includes five consecutive victories for the Partenopei, but with only one clean sheet.
Immediately, Lorenzo Insigne ran on to an Allan ball over the top and tried to dink it past on-rushing Emil Audero, but Lorenzo Tonelli and Andersen did just about enough.
However, Samp opened the scoring with a classic counter-attack. Fabio Quagliarella sparked it, Saponara put it on a silver platter for Gregoire Defrel to then smash into the near top corner. It was the third game in a row that Napoli had conceded the opening goal.
Arkadiusz Milik had the ball in the back of the net, but only after a shove on goalkeeper Audero.
Samp remained dangerous on the counter and added a second, as Quagliarella controlled a cross from the right, wisely turned to Defrel in a better position, whose strike took a deflection off Raul Albiol to wrong-foot David Ospina.
The Blucerchiati lost Saponara to injury after he landed awkwardly and made way for Gaston Ramirez. Napoli made little real impact, although Insigne did curl his usual assist to the back post, where Callejon wasn’t playing today.
Ancelotti made a double change at the break, introducing Adam Ounas and Dries Mertens for Verdi and Insigne, which immediately fired them up for yet another comeback.
Ounas saw his fierce cross-shot deflected inches past the far post, then Mertens fired straight at Audero on a Diawara assist.
However, Sampdoria made it 3-0 with probably the best goal Quagliarella has scored in his long career, and there have been many candidates. Bartosz Bereszynski’s low cross from the right seemed ineffective enough, but Quagliarella reached back his right heel to flick it upwards and behind him to dip into the far bottom corner from nine yards. It was an astonishing feat.
Mertens did get in front of Audero to flick a cross from the right, but couldn’t keep it on target.
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