Goals from Nicola Pozzi and Stefano Guberti have gave Sampdoria their first win in three in a keenly contested battle with Roma in Genoa this afternoon.
The opening ten minutes saw plenty of the possession laboured in midfield. Neither side were producing any sort of initiative instead opting to stand off one another and allow each other the ball. Sampdoria carved out the first real meaningful opportunity thanks to a teasing cross from the left from Reto Ziegler who teed up Vladimir Koman on the volley but he completely fluffed his lines and misqued.
Roma were beginning to dictate more of the play as the half rolled on and opened the scoring thanks to a piece of solo brilliance from Mirko Vucinic on 17 minutes. The Montenegro international picked up the ball from his own half down the right and intricately carried the ball forward before oozing past Stefano Lucchini with ease and dispatching a drilled right-footed shot past Gianluca Curci that gave him no chance. It was a wonderful piece of play and the Roma frontman had carried on his good from last Thursday where he bagged a brace against Catania.
Sampdoria almost produced an immediate response thanks to Reto Ziegler who went agonisingly close from a direct free-kick that had Julio Sergio scrambling across his line before seeing the ball drift inches wide to his left.
The goal had certainly settled the game which was working to Roma’s advantage. Giallorossi kept possession well and Jeremy Menez, after a quiet start to the half, became more predominant in the game. His intricate footwork saw him weave past two blue shirts before playing a delicate through ball to Marco Borriello who advanced on goal and saw his left-footed effort from outside the area tipped round the post by Curci.
Sampdoria came out the blocks after the interval as they sought that elusive equaliser. Roma had been containing their hosts well in midfield but were contributors to their own downfall as a laboured back-pass from defender Juan put Angelo Palombo one on one with his keeper Sergio who brought down the Sampdoria man down resulting in a penalty and his dismissal. Jeremy Menez was the man sacrificed as Doni came on in goal but was unable to deny Nicola Pozzi from the spot on 57 minutes who ended the club’s six hour wait for a goal.
The equaliser and the sending off completely tipped the balance of the game with Sampdoria looking the more dangerous. To Roma’s credit they showed plenty of endeavour and made it difficult for the Sampdoria by restricting their space in midfield.
Federico Macheda, whose on loan from Manchester United till the end of the season, made his debut from the bench for Blucerchiati and almost put his new side into the lead with ten minutes remaining. A clever through ball from Guberti found Luciano Zauri down the right whose dinked cross was met by the diving head of the debutant but he put the ball well wide.
It wasn’t to matter as Sampdoirai grabbed the winner on 83 minutes with substitute Juan contributing with another inadvertent assist. The Brazilian tried to control the ball in his own penalty and his misjudgement teed up Guberti who thrashed the ball past Doni at his near post. It had been a horror show from Juan whose confidence looked shot to pieces.
Both Samp centre-backs Daniele Gastaldello and Stefano Lucchini were sent off late on with their second yellow cards but the hosts held on to end their three game losing streak and climb into the top half.