Genoa missed an early penalty with Cristobal Jorquera, but eventually got the better of Cagliari.
The Grifone returned to Marassi for the first time since the infamous match against Siena, when ultras halted the game at 4-0 down and demanded the players hand over their jerseys, as they were ‘unworthy’ to wear them. Alberto Gilardino and Cagliari captain Daniele Conti were suspended for this fixture.
After 15 minutes Bosko Jankovic sprung the offside trap and burst into the box, brought down in a one-on-one by goalkeeper Michael Agazzi after he had been pulled back by Davide Astori. The penalty was inevitable and Cristobal Jorquera stepped up, but steered the spot-kick wide!
Moments later Giandomenico Mesto’s diving header at the back post was cleared off the line by Agazzi’s feet.
A Radja Nainggolan missile from distance was beaten away with great difficulty by Sebastien Frey and a long-range Jankovic free kick skimmed the crossbar.
It was end-to-end stuff, as first Frey needed a splendid save on Mauricio Pinilla’s glancing header to flap it out from under the bar, then as part of the same move Genoa went on the counter and Immobile’s angled drive whistled just wide.
Genoa did finally break the deadlock after the restart, as on a counter-attack Agazzi and a defender struggled to stop Andreas Granqvist, but the ball fell to Alexander Merkel to fire into the empty net.
There were numerous chances and Immobile’s volley was well over as he lost his balance, while Pinilla’s header shaved the bar.
A stunning Frey save flapped a Luca Rossettini header off the goalline, while Joaquin Larrivey nodded well off target from a very promising position.
Genoa doubled their lead with Ciro Immobile’s debut Serie A goal. The Under-21 international ran on to a flicked on long ball, which took Astori by surprise with a howler of an attempted interception, allowing him to go clear and deposit past a stranded goalkeeper.
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Missed penalty: Jorquera 17 (G)