Genoa have won the first city derby of the season.
Rafinha endeared himself to the Genoa faithful as his second-half goal fired the Grifoni past city-rivals Sampdoria in the Derby della Lanterna on Wednesday evening.
In one of the most fiercely fought derbies in Italy, it was Genoa who had the better start of the two sides and dominated the early exchanges.
Juraj Kucka, Omar Milanetto and Kakha Kaladze all came close to giving the Grifoni the lead inside six minutes before Rodrigo Palacio hit the crossbar with a shot from the right side of the box.
However, Sampdoria began to make their way into the match as Stefano Guberti twice had his attempts on the Genoa goal saved and then Massimo Maccarone had his header turned out.
Genoa then came close to breaking the deadlock as Rafinha tried his luck from 25 yards and Marco Rossi hit the ball against the crossbar, and although Antonio Floro Flores tapped the rebound into the net, it was ruled out for offside.
Ten minutes after the restart, Rafinha struck for Genoa from distance. Sampdoria went in search of the equalizer but couldn't find it, as the Grifoni celebrated a much-needed win.
Follow Goal.com on to get the latest soccer news directly. Check out Goal.com's page; be part of the best soccer fan community in the world!