The Genoese derby has always been a fiery affair, and this has never been as evident as it was this weekend when the Stadio Ferraris hosted the big city rivals.
The stadium had been engulfed in flags and fireworks hours before the kick off as both sets of fans tried desperately tried to match the others well choreographed routines. Genoa it seemed, were much more focused and came out of the blocks faster than Sampdoria. Only 10 minutes had elapsed before Rodrigo Palacio was brought down by Reto Ziegler. Omar Milanetto obliged by taking the spot kick in front of the home fans and coolly put Genoa a goal up. Genoa then went down to 10 men Giuseppe Biava was sent off for a second yellow card for handling the ball. Ironically it was Genoa who would respond better to this when a superb cross field pass fell to Marco Rossi who calmly drilled the ball under the legs of Luca Castellazzi.
Sampdoria needed to respond in the second half but struggled to get into the game at all, and they nearly conceded a third from Rossi had it not been for the good work of Castellazzi. The Blucerchiati then pressed the self destruct button as they had a man sent off, as referee Roberto Rosetti handing Sampdoria’s Marco Rossi as second yellow card. Next it was Reto Ziegler’s turn to do the unthinkable as he gave away his second penalty. Raffaele Palladino took up the responsibility this time facing the Sampdoria fans. The whistles made no difference as he slotted home the penalty to secure all three points. Fabrizio Cacciatore finally made it a truly terrible day for the Sampdoria faithful as he saw red for his late challenge on Ivan Juric. The final whistle saw a city divided between elation and despair but one common ground will be found in the fact that want to or not, they will not forget this game in a hurry.
Enrico Preziosi: “It is a great satisfaction, particularly because someone was saying we were in crisis, Samp have complained for 90 minutes, while we taught them a footballing lesson. The Blucerchiati were never in the match, especially in the first half: we could talk about obvious inferiority.”
Angelo Palambo: “Our fans don’t deserve this, We let go, we were never in the game and we practically did not play.”
Genoa have now moved up to sixth place in the Serie A table and are level on points with fourth place Sampdoria. The win against their bitter rivals is proof enough that they have recaptured the early season form that had deserted them in recent weeks. The season had started well with three straight wins over Roma, Atalanta and Napoli. A defeat to Chievo was followed with a good point against Juventus but since then the form book deserted them. This victory will give Genoa confidence that they cannot only beat Sampdoria but compete with them at the top end of the table. The match itself was one of high drama, huge tension and a total battle of will power in a super charged cauldron of local bitterness, Genoa dealt with this much better than Sampdoria and it is to this ability to cope with pressure that they must look to in the up coming games against Parma and Lazio.
Sampdoria have to re-group and look to the next game as it is almost impossible to find a positive from the awful display in the derby this weekend. They have to do this quickly as a trip to the San Siro against Milan followed by a home game hosting Roma looms on the horizon. A performance like the display against Genoa would see them well beaten in both games. The Blucerchiati have been in good form this year and have had some notable victories especially the 1-0 win over Inter away. They are however, showing a tendency to implode on occasions and this game against Genoa was no different. Seeing two red cards and not taking advantage of the opposition only having ten are factors that will see Samp slip out of the European places if it continues. It is unlikely that there will not be a response from Luigi Del Neri’s men, the football they have played sometimes this year has been breath taking and they arguably have two of the best strikers in the country at present.
The game this weekend could be a turning point for both teams, Genoa will certainly want to build on this resounding victory over their bitter city rivals and push on to try and secure European football for next season. Sampdoria have been flying high at times this season, to the point where comparisons were being made to the 1991 Scudetto winning side. To be held in the same esteem as players such as this Sampdoria now have to show their resolve and bounce back from this weekends rout. Defeats to Milan and or Roma will see them slip further down the table and not only see them loose pace with Inter, Milan and Juventus but also with Genoa, and this would too much for the Blucerchiati to bare.
Genoa 3-0 Sampdoria – Milanetto pen 10, Rossi 53 , Palladino pen 76
Genoa Amelia, Biava, Moretti, Bocchetti, M Rossi, Milanetto, Juric, Criscito, Palacio (Papastathopoulos 45), Sculli (Floccari 71), Palladino (Crespo 80)
Sampdoria Castellazzi, Cacciatore, Gastaldello, M Rossi, Ziegler, Padalino (Tissone 54), Palombo, Poli (Accardi 58), Mannini (Pozzi 54), Pazzini, Cassano
Genoa – Sampdoria
3 – Corners – 1
6 (5) – Shots (on target) – 9 (2)
30 – Fouls – 24
3 (1) – Yellow cards (Red) – 3 (2)
6 – Offside – 3