Suso grabbed a brace to put further pressure on Vincenzo Montella as Genoa bounce back from back-to-back defeats with a dominating performance against their biggest rivals
Vincenzo Montella was tight-lipped in midweek regarding the selection of Antonio Cassano, and he played his cards close to his chest as he selected the 33-year-old to play just off of Fabio Quagliarella in his 400th Serie A. The former Fiorentina manager also dropped Andrea Ranocchia after a few poor performances in recent weeks, and brought in the Argentine Matías Silvestre. The Blucerchiati were also without the suspended Nenad Krstičić, while Carlos Carbonero and Niklas Moisander were out with injury.
Gian Piero Gasperini had a full squad to choose from with the exception of the injured Mattia Perin, and he brought Sebastian De Maio, Luca Rigoni and Cristian Ansaldi back into the line-up from the side that faced Roma.
The first half got off to an electric start as Genoa opened the scoring after just three minutes. Luca Rigoni played a ball in behind Sampdoria’s defence and Cristian Ansaldi was there to square the ball across goal. Leonardo Pavoletti, who hadn’t scored for four months prior to his goal against Roma last week, was there to make the near post run and get to the ball ahead of Samp’s goalkeeper, Emiliano Viviano. Genoa then dominated the next 20 minutes and were creating chances right, left and centre.
In the 26th minute Suso then doubled the Grifone’s lead with an exceptional goal. The Spaniard received the ball on the right wing, brought the ball into the middle of the pitch and unleashed a shot that went into the bottom corner of Viviano’s goal. His celebration afterwards caused the former Arsenal loanee to be held back by some Genoa players, along with his teammates, as the 22-year-old Suso celebrated in front of the Blucerchiati fans.
The following 20 minutes saw Genoa control the ball, while Roberto Soriano had the only chance of the half for Sampdoria as he forced Eugenio Lamanna into a good, but relatively straightforward save. Whistles then greeted Samp’s players as they left the field at half-time.
The second half saw Genoa continue their dominance. Sampdoria did have a chance seven minutes after the break, however, as Fabio Quagliarella was put through on goal by Angelo Palombo, but Lamanna pulled off a very good save to prevent the 33-year-old from scoring.
Two minutes after Quagliarella’s effort, Panagiotis Tachtsidis came on for Luca Rigoni and had a very strong half. Twenty minutes after his entrance, he played a big role in Genoa making it 3-0.
Tachtsidis was running powerfully at the Sampdoria defence and saw an offside Pavoletti and the energetic Diego Laxalt coming from deep. He then passed to the Uruguayan who was put one-on-one with Viviano; Laxalt attempted to take the ball around the 30-year-old, but Viviano was able to get a touch on the ball. Fortunately for Genoa though, the ball landed at the feet of Pavoletti who passed to Suso and he calmly finished to score his second goal of the game.
With the score at 3-0, Sampdoria looked dejected and low on confidence. Nonetheless, there was a chance – again for Quagliarella – as Fernando’s effort from distance crashed against the crossbar and fell to the journeyman striker, but his header was tame and was comfortably saved by Lamanna.
The loss for Sampdoria will leave them feeling fortunate that they got to the 40 point mark a few weeks ago against Lazio as they currently sit five points above the bottom three going into the final matchday of the season. There has to be questions, however, regarding Vincenzo Montella and the state of the side under his management. With reports that he is trying to talk himself into the Milan job, results like this will do little to impress the Rossoneri’s hierarchy.
For Genoa, the win means that they climb to 10th place and win their second Derby della Lanterna in the past eight fixtures. Gasperini will be pleased that the Grifone were able to secure just their third away win of the season, albeit the game was played at the Marassi; the ground they share with their opponents, Sampdoria. After losing 3-2 in the fixture earlier in the season, Genoa fans will be ecstatic that they were able to avenge that defeat with such a dominating performance on Sunday afternoon.
In the final matchday of the season, Sampdoria travel to Juventus while Genoa will host Atalanta at the Marassi.