Mattia Perin saved a Fabio Quagliarella penalty, but Genoa still fell 2-1 as Sampdoria won a breathless Derby della Lanterna.
The Genoa Derby was always a fiery fixture, but even more pressure was on this time, as Samp Coach Marco Giampaolo was hanging by a thread after two points from six rounds and last season’s humiliating 3-0 ‘home’ defeat. Emiliano Viviano joined Daniel Pavlovic and Dodo on the treatment table, so lifelong Blucerchiati fan Christian Puggioni made his debut in goal. Genoa had Coach Ivan Juric suspended along with Darko Lazovic, while Serge Gakpe was sidelined, Leonardo Pavoletti and Lucas Ocampos only fit for the bench.
It took only a couple of minutes for the first shot on goal, as Mattia Perin got down to palm a Fabio Quagliarella diving header round the base of the near post. Luis Muriel also saw his strike beaten away by the goalkeeper, then he opened the scoring with a well-worked Samp move.
Bruno Fernandes got down the right and crossed low for Quagliarella, who intelligently ‘hid’ the ball from an onrushing defender and rolled across for Muriel to smash into the roof of the net from 10 yards.
Genoa fought back and Linetty threw himself at Edenilson’s screamer to deflect over the bar, but the winger did set up the equaliser when nutmegging Matias Silvestre for Luca Rigoni to tap in at the near post.
Giovanni Simeone’s pull-back found Edenilson only for him to trip at the crucial moment, then Armando Izzo’s cross-shot thumped the bar. On a corner, Puggioni performed a stunning reaction save to tip a Nicolas Burdisso header on to the bar, but Goran Pandev was inches offside on the follow-up.
Sampdoria also rattled the woodwork, as a free kick was met by Silvestre’s towering header, which bounced off the ground and back out, but did not cross the line. The goal-line technology failed to send a signal, so play was temporarily halted to get the verdict from the fourth official, but it was visibly outside.
During first half stoppages Quagliarella sprinted into the box and Perin brought him down when trying to fingertip the ball off his foot. However, the Genoa goalkeeper made up for it by performing a fantastic save to deny Quagliarella’s penalty.
The miss didn’t sap the Blucerchiati’s confidence, as straight after the restart Perin got down to palm a Quagliarella daisy-cutter away, then Muriel’s cross from the right was beaten away from Quagliarella, but it ricocheted off Izzo’s stomach and into the net.
Muriel dribbled past Burdisso to sting Perin’s gloves under the bar with a ferocious finish. Orban risked a second yellow card for his sliding tackle on Muriel and was immediately hauled off the pitch.
There was controversy at the other end too, as Genoa went on the counter and a shove on Pandev just outside the box was ignored. Izzo nodded a free kick over from close range and Leonardo Pavoletti made his comeback, his header too central to surprise Puggioni.
Genoa poured forward and Muriel limped off, but Alvarez wasted a golden opportunity to finish it off on the counter. In stoppages Ninkovic had one shot saved at the near post and the rebound cleared in the six-yard box.
See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk
Saved penalty: Quagliarella 45+2 (S)