Coppa Italia: Round of 16 / Team rating: 6 / Top scorer: Pavoletti (14)
Following last season’s impressive sixth place finish, Genoa were hoping to build on the form showed in the 2014-15 campaign, but the selling of their major stars prevented them from doing so, writes Rossella Marrai-Ricco.
When the final whistle blew to signal the end of the 2015-16 campaign, many Grifoni fans won’t be blamed for feeling any sort of dismay with the club’s mid-table finish.
The 2014-15 season brought great joy and celebration to the Marassi outfit. A sixth place finish was something they could be proud of, as they also edged out both Milan clubs and arch-rivals Sampdoria in the standings.
Their position meant that they had also qualified for Europe, but after failing to obtain a UEFA licence, their spot was relinquished to Samp. Still, hopes were high upon entering this season’s campaign and many felt confident that they could quietly climb their way up the log again.
But before they could get the season started, the team had already been ripped apart. Last season’s stalwarts Andrea Bertolacci, Iago Falque, Juraj Kucka and Diego Perotti were all sold by the club, and never truly replaced.
The 2-1 victory over Milan at the Luigi Ferraris in Week Six did give the club hope, but inconsistency and a failure to keep the defensive line compact resulted in Gian Piero Gasperini’s men losing more games  than they won .
The run of five consecutive defeats in December and January undoubtedly acted as a massive setback to Genoa’s hopes of finishing in a European berth, while the loss of Mattia Perin to injury in April also had an impact on the team.
Still, with the club having undergone a massive shuffle during the transfer window, Gasperini did what he could with the limited resources he had available to him, which saw him bring out the best from Suso and secure an impressive 3-0 derby victory in the return leg.
An 11th place finish will get by for now, but the club will need to be busy in the transfer window if they want to stand any hope of mirroring the success of two seasons ago.
Since his return to the Rossoblu bench, the 58-year-old and Genoa have not looked back. ‘Gasp’ has managed to form a team that fought until the very end, bringing out the best in players like Suso and Alessio Cerci. However, he will rue some of the games his side failed to take home the points.
Having gone from playing six games in a year with Milan to scoring six goals in a season, Suso managed to regain his best form while at the Marassi. Scoring more goals than every other player barring Leonardo Pavoletti, the 22-year-old has been hugely influential for the Grifoni.
- Genoa hadn’t claimed a Serie A Derby della Lanterna victory since their 3-0 hammering of Sampdoria in September 2013, managing a draw and three defeats.
- The 3-0 result over the Blucerchiati also saw them equal their heaviest ever ‘away’ derby victory.
- For the second year running, the Grifone will finish above rivals Sampdoria in the table.
|3||D||Cristian Ansaldi||23 (1)||-||4|
|4||D||Sebastian De Maio||28||1|
|34||D||Grabiel Silva||8 (3)||-|
|54||D||Anibal Embalo' Sandro||-||-|
|25||D||Diogo Figueiras||7 (2)||1||-|
|31||D||Issa Cissokho||6 (7)||-||1|
|16||M||Diego Trinidad Capel||0 (1)||-||-|
|30||M||Blerim Dzemaili||22 (5)||3||2|
|22||M||Darko Lazovic||6 (9)||-||2|
|18||M||Oliver Ntcham||11 (6)||-||2|
|30||M||Luca Rigoni||14 (4)||3||-|
|77||M||Panagiotis Tachtsidis||7 (17)||2||2|
|27||M||Diego Perotti||14 (2)||1||2|
|29||M||Serge Gakpe||8 (5)||3||1|
|11||A||Alessio Cerci||6 (5)||4||1|
|42||A||Tim Matavz||5 (2)||-||-|