Antonio Cassano fired home from the spot to put a smile back on the faces of the Blucerchiati faithful...Sampdoria got their campaign off to a perfect start after seeing off Lazio at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.
Aquile coach Edy Reja put his immediate faith in new signing Hernanes and the Brazilian didn’t disappoint as he provided the spark behind numerous attacks in the opening period. The Doriani were suffering a little fatigue from their midweek defeat to Werder Bremen, and they opted to use the counter attack as their main source forward.
In the second period the Blucerchiati found their groove and they broke the deadlock through an Antonio Cassano spot-kick shortly before the hour mark. Stefano Guberti sealed the points as his first time chip made the most of a hashed clearance by Fernando Muslera.
The game started at an electric pace and Lazio immediately imposed themselves going forward with new signing Hernanes pulling the strings behind the forwards.
Sampdoria appeared slightly less tonic than their midweek display in the Champions League, but Mimmo Di Carlo’s men still caused a significant threat to the visitors on the counter-attack.
Cassano proved in inspired form up top for the Doriani during the opening period but their remained doubts over how long he could last. The pint-sized playmaker was nursing a back-injury but he seemed in no mood to let it get the better of him as kept the Aquile defence on their toes.
It was anyone’s game after the break but the Marassi pitch did neither side a favour as it continued to break up under foot. As the clocked down the teams became increasingly stretched and Cassano almost put the home side ahead as his snatched shot glanced past the post.
The game finally took a twist on 58 minutes when Sampdoria were awarded a penalty following Stephen Lichtsteiner’s tug on Daniele Dessena. The spot-kick was left to Cassano who left Muslera with no chance as he buried a shot into the bottom corner.
Guberti doubled Sampdoria’s advantage with 20 minutes left to play when he struck first time following a poor punch by Muslera. The Uruguayan looked stunned as he the ball floated into the net, but again he showed inexperience with a clearance that left a lot to be desired.
The result underlined Sampdoria’s ability to bounce back following their crushing Champions League exit. Lazio will be buoyed by the display of Hernanes, but the defensive errors leave coach Reja with much work to do during the international break.
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