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Sampdoria Pip Genoa in the Derby della Lanterna

Posted by David Schiavone Monday, April 12, 2021

As week 33 in Serie A drew to a close we were treated to a magnificent Derby della Lanterna between Genoa and Sampdoria. Both teams have European ambitions, the Rossoblu are looking to gain Europa League qualification, while the Blucerchiati are in the running to claim a Champions League spot. The game at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris kicked off just over fifteen minutes late due to traffic delaying the arrival of both side, but it was certainly a match worth waiting for.

Sampdoria took the earlier initiative and were in complete control from the off, and had early chances through a Daniele Gastaldello header and a Stefano Guberti volley from the edge of the 18-yard box which forced Genoa’s stand in goalkeeper, Alessio Scarpi into a magnificent save.

The deadlock was broken soon after and to be fair it had been on the cards as Samp were putting sustained pressure on the Genoa defence, and it was Antonio Cassano who got the goal as he nodded in a Stefano Lucchini cross-box header.
Tensions threatened to spillover as a number of reckless challenges began to fly in.

Genoa did score though as Giuseppe Sculli fired in a thunderous volley but he was correctly deemed offside.

Following the half-time interval, it was Genoa who were taking control of the tie, wave after wave of Grifone attacks were thwarted by a stubborn Sampdoria defence with Marco Storari making a number of saves.

In the final minute of the match Genoa had the chance to rescue a point as Salvatore Bocchetti rose unchallenged in the Samp penalty area, but could only put his header wide.

Sampdoria coach Gigi Del Neri was in buoyant mood following the final whistle: “It was a great victory in front of a wonderful crowd,” stated Del Neri.

“We learned from the mistakes of the past and didn’t allow Genoa any space to hurt us.” He continued

“Now we want to keep hold of fourth place. We are the favourites for that Champions League spot and I hope we can maintain it until the end of the season.”

But the Genoa boss Gian Piero Gasperini was not so complimentary:“Genoa overall had a good game, perhaps they were even the better side compared to Sampdoria, who made the most of the goal and built their performance on that.

“To be perfectly honest, I am struggling to remember any other scoring opportunities Samp had.” He continued.

“We did our best and were the only ones to create chances, especially in the second half. An equaliser could’ve transformed the game, but at the end of the day the result does not reflect the whole match.”

Genoa now lie tenth, six points behind Juventus in the race for a Europa League spot, so it will take a minor miracle for the Rossoblu to reach Europe once more and facing some tough teams in the coming weeks, a top half finish may be the best Gasperini can hope for.

Sampdoria on the other hand are still in the hunt for fourth spot, level on point with Palermo the current occupiers of fourth place, but Samp do have a difficult run-in. AC Milan and AS Roma are next up for Del Neri, then a potential Champions League decider in week 37 with Palermo.

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