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Genoa CFC players salute the tifosi after victoryThe derby between Genova-based outfits Genoa CFC and UC Sampdoria – or more commonly known as the Derby della Lanterna – has been described as the most passionate and prestigious in Italy by many of the top names in Calcio.

The derby always promises be a heated affair as the two sides clash at the fortress Marassi which serves as home soil to both clubs. The battle goes beyond the pitch as the supporters compete to produce the mightiest tifos.

One can never be disappointed as a fiery atmosphere, unpredictability, dismissals and a whole lot of passion rules the game as the two sides fight it out for the city’s bragging rights.

The derby on November 28 was no different.

“Home team” Genoa came in to the game having showcased extremely mixed performance and bearing a shattered confidence. In the corresponding fixture from last season Diego Milito had scored a hattrick to seal the deal for the Grifoni – a player that had moved on to Inter Milan during the summer. On top of that, Gian Piero Gasperini’s men were missing a key player Giandomenico Mesto through suspension along with several injuries.

Sampdoria got off to a brilliant start to the season and tracked Inter Milan every step of the way before things started to falter – resulting in the Blucerchiati dropping many points along the way – and slipping down from first to fourth place. Mostly due to the fact that Antonio Cassano and Gianpaolo Pazzini hasn’t been as consistent as they were in the beginning of the campaign.

When it comes to games of this importance, the form is thrown out the window and it’s factors such as pure will and determination that decide the outcome. That seemed to be the case last Saturday.

Genoa dominated the derby right from the kick-off as both sides of the pitch launched fireworks and continued on the same path throughout the game. The visitors weren’t allowed a single shot on goal as the Rossoblu ran riot.

The offensive pressure was too much for Luigi Del Neri ’s men to handle and allowed the home side to erase any threat the Blucerchiati were trying to pose.

A derby atmosphere usually means a very physical and ill-tempered game where scuffles are a common sight – and the Derby della Lanterna was no exception as the first penalty of two was awarded to Genoa after just ten minutes of play. Omar Milanetto stepped up with shaky legs and sent Sampdoria goalkepper Luca Castellazzi the wrong way.

Genoa were the undisputed dominance force during the game and made it 2-0 a short way into the second half despite being one man down as Giuseppe Biava was dismissed due to a handball just before the break.

Despite Del Neri’s desperate attempt to change the course of the game by throwing in three substitutions it hardly had the effective he was hoping for as Marco Rossi was shown the red card due to a late tackle.

Sampdoria once again shot themselves in the foot as Reto Ziegler went in to another late challenge – this time on Sokrates Papastathopoulos. Raffaele Palladino stepped up to take Genoa’s second penalty of the evening and made no mistake as he made it 3-0.

As Palladino cupped his ear and ran in front of the Blucerchiati fans to celebrate another scuffle broke out between the players of the two sides as the visitors felt it was pure provocation from the former Juventus-man.

More arguments broke out and somehow an away fan was able to get past security and in an attempt to soak the Genoa players with a fire hose, he ended up mainly soaking himself. Shortly after, the play was halted due as a firework was thrown on to the pitch.

In the dying minutes of the game Niccolò Cacciatore was flashed a straight red card for a late challenge and by a wise move, referee Rosetti didn’t award any stoppages as the game was clearly getting out of hands.

Throughout all the tension and the drama one Antonio Cassano was able to remain calm. The playmaker even earned himself applause from the Genoa supporters and an apology from Gasperini for Giuseppe Sculli’s insults towards the player during the game.

With Saturday’s big victory where the Grifoni simply ran the show, the side has now collected three derby wins on the trot and are the indisputable kings of Genova.

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