Sampdoria cancelled out Genoa’s lead in the 1-1 Derby della Lanterna, but missed two open goals and the Grifone hit the bar in stoppages.
The game was delayed by 72 hours due to a waterlogged pitch at Marassi.
The two city rivals were locked together in joint sixth place on 35 points, so there was a lot more than mere bragging rights at stake. Samp won 1-0 earlier this season, though scorer Manolo Gabbiadini has since moved on.
Samuel Eto’o was ruled out by a muscular problem along with Ezequiel Munoz and Fabrizio Cacciatore. M’Baye Niang was hoping to build on his debut Serie A brace in last week’s 5-2 victory over Verona.
After just 80 seconds Andrea Bertolacci nodded over on a corner from six yards and Alessio Romagnoli’s header was off target on a Roberto Soriano free kick.
The game exploded into life when M’Baye Niang gathered down the right – and might’ve been marginally offside, but only by a matter of centimetres – to roll across for Iago Falque to tap in at the back post.
Genoa were probably still celebrating, as Facundo Roncaglia was caught well and truly napping by Eder, who pinched the ball to place an angled drive across Mattia Perin.
Roncaglia was having a nightmare, as he was booked and then let Afriyie Acquah get away down the right, but the cross was incredibly shinned over the bar from six yards by Stefano Okaka. It was an astonishing miss.
Niang tested Emiliano Viviano with a scuffed finish and another strike at the near post, while Iago Falque’s free kick whistled just wide.
The tension rose in the second half with more arguments breaking out over every refereeing decision. Roncaglia’s snapshot was deflected just past the far post, the same result for Juraj Kucka and Andrea Bertolacci. Marco Borriello made his Genoa comeback, starting his third stint in the Grifone jersey.
Pedro Obiang really should’ve won it for Sampdoria on 86 minutes when he pounced on a Kucka error to go clear on goal. Perin rushed out to narrow the angle and Obiang incredibly blasted over the empty net.
Yet Genoa threatened to win the game with the last kick of the game. Diego Perotti whipped in a set play, it was nodded on to the crossbar by Kucka, then Viviano performed a stunning one-handed reaction save on Bertolacci’s follow-up and eventually it was ballooned over the bar.
Sinisa Mihajlovic was so furious with Vasco Regini for giving away that last-gasp free kick that he grabbed his own player by the throat.
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