Claudio Ranieri marked his Sampdoria debut with a birthday stalemate against Roma, but the Giallorossi suffered yet more injuries.
For the second time in five months, Claudio Ranieri replaced Eusebio Di Francesco, having come in to be caretaker manager of Roma in March and now debuting against his beloved hometown club on his 68th birthday. He was visibly moved when walking out and greeted by both sets of fans.
Ranieri surprised by giving Andrea Bertolacci his debut, the former Milan man only arriving as a free agent on October 8 and not playing since November 2018, but he was chosen to replace injured Karol Linetty. Roma missed Edin Dzeko, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Amadou Diawara and Davide Zappacosta.
The injury crisis got even worse, as within eight minutes Bryan Cristante had limped off with yet another muscular problem, replaced by Javier Pastore.
Fabio Quagliarella just failed to get on the end of an Emiliano Rigoni cross from the right, while Emil Audero rushed off his line to clear as Nikola Kalinic ran on to a Nicolò Zaniolo through ball.
Roma’s astonishing injury record got even worse and Kalinic went off with a knock to the shin. It meant Dzeko had to be risked, under two weeks after surgery on a fractured cheekbone and orbital bone, with a protective mask.
Chris Smalling was alert to stop Quagliarella making the most of a Jankto cross to the near post, while Audero flapped at an Aleksandar Kolarov corner.
Gianluca Mancini was caught napping by Federico Bonazzoli, allowing Jankto to get a shot deflected wide, but on the resulting corner Fabio Depaoli’s half-volley screamer skimmed the bar.
When there finally were shots on target, they were weak and central from Dzeko and Quagliarella. Justin Kluivert concluded a poor overall performance with his second yellow card for not pulling out of a tackle on Murru.
That gave Samp the belief they could win this and Bonazzoli’s powerful rising strike from a tight angle stung Pau Lopez’s gloves at the near post.
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Sent off: Kluivert 86 (R)