Samp sweep Fiorentina aside


Sampdoria returned to the Champions League places by edging out Fiorentina 3-1 in a frenetic Serie A clash at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris. The opening 45 minutes witnessed three goals and a saved penalty as Samp battled to reclaim third place from Napoli, while Fiorentina appeared determined to escape from mid-table obscurity. Angelo Palombo notched first for the hosts, from the spot, minutes before Fiorentina midfielder Gonzalo Rodriguez saw his penalty snaffled by Sergio Romero. Luca Rizzo and Stefan Savic then exchanged goals just before the break. Eder rubber-stamped the Blucerchiati's first league win in four attempts with a 78th-minute strike. The first half produced plenty of incident as both teams went all out in pursuit of goals. Early shots were fired as Khouma Babacar responded to Gonzalo Bergessio's effort from close range with a powerful right-footed strike that shaved paint off a post. Samp went closer through Rizzo, who burst into the box only to clip the ball wide of the mark. The hosts were handed an opportunity to open the scoring in the 25th minute when Alberto Aquilani fouled Roberto Soriano in the penalty area. Palombo made no mistake as he sent Neto completely the wrong way to convert his spot-kick. Fiorentina looked set to equalise in prompt fashion when Babacar was impeded in the six-yard box shortly after the half-hour mark, but on this occasion Romero got gloves to Rodriguez's penalty. La Viola were not deflated, however, and came within inches of levelling as Marcos Alonso pinged Borja Valero's corner just past a post. Samp responded in the best possible way by doubling their lead two minutes before the break. Rizzo did all the legwork himself, bursting into the box before fooling Neto with a dummy and rasping the ball past him to inspire jubilation around the Marassi. Fiorentina made sure to dampen the celebrations, though, as Savic rose highest to nod Valero's corner past the flailing Romero and home on the stroke of half-time. Clearly aggrieved by the erosion of their two-goal lead, Samp started the second half in determined fashion and Stefan Okaka's explosive drive gave Neto a real scare. With the play swinging from end to end, Fiorentina bit back in the 62nd minute. After sweeping up Aquilani's pass Valero breached the Samp box but Babacar could not put the subsequent pass away. Samp were next to threaten, Okaka firing another right-footed effort down Neto's throat before Aquilani blasted Valero's corner high over the bar at the other end of the pitch. Something had to give as time ticked away in Genoa and there would indeed be another goal. It went to Samp, along with a guarantee of all three points, as Eder capitalised on a mistake from David Pizarro to steal into the box and slide the ball beneath the stranded Neto.