Samuel Eto’o was presented to Sampdoria fans, but Palermo were fuming after what would’ve been a winning goal was not awarded.
All eyes were on the stands, where new signing Samuel Eto’o sat smiling next to President Massimo Ferrero ahead of his transfer from Everton.
This was also a big game between two revelations of the season, as Samp were challenging for third place and newly-promoted Palermo causing all sorts of upsets. Fabrizio Cacciatore and Luis Muriel were injured, Stefano Okaka benched again, while Paulo Dybala shook off a knock to start with Franco Vazquez.
Palermo were unbeaten at Marassi since 2007-08, picking up three wins and a draw. As expected, it was a fast and furious start to the game with Bolzoni forcing a save at the near post after two minutes.
It was Samp who took the lead with Eder, who ran on to a Roberto Soriano through ball and caught out defenders with an angled drive. He placed the right-foot finish across the goalkeeper into the far bottom corner.
It was almost 2-0, but Michel Morganella cleared Eder’s header off the line from a corner. Stefano Sorrentino then parried from point-blank range on Matias Silvestre, who got the ball caught under his feet.
Edgar Barreto skimmed the bar and Sorrentino again got down well to push a Silvestre header off the line.
Palermo equalised at the dawn of the second half, as Franco Vazquez let a Barreto assist run on to his right foot and smashed in from the edge of the box.
Dybala almost scored the goal of the season, as he controlled a ball over the top with the outside of the boot and his half-volley was fingertipped on to the crossbar by Emiliano Viviano.
Moments later there was huge controversy, as Morganella’s screamer bounced off the underside of the bar and back out, but replays show it did cross the line. The goal-line official was in the right position, but still didn’t flag it. There have been several ‘phantom’ goals in Serie A this season, but this seemed the most obvious.
The Sicilians had become dominant in this second half, as Viviano flew to palm away a Vazquez strike. After 25 minutes, Sampdoria started to wake up again, but Viviano blocked a Dybala glancing header and neither side could find a breakthrough.
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