A towering header from debutant Ernesto Torregrossa sealed a 2-1 comeback win for Sampdoria against Udinese on Saturday to send them into the top half of the Serie A table and stretch the visitors’ winless run to seven games.
Udinese midfielder Rodrigo De Paul was inches away from a spectacular opener when his swerving long-range shot crashed off the bar late in the first half.
The Argentina international made the breakthrough after 55 minutes when goalkeeper Emil Audero parried his shot back at him to finish on the rebound, but Sampdoria launched a spirited response.
Antonio Candreva was caught in the box by Rolando Mandragora to earn a penalty, which he coolly converted with a delicate chip down the middle.
But substitute Torregrossa, who joined Sampdoria on loan from Serie B side Brescia on Tuesday, marked his debut in style by heading a cross into the top corner with nine minutes remaining.
The result moves Claudio Ranieri’s side above Benevento into 10th place on 23 points, while Udinese remain 15th on 16 points.
Torino’s wait for a home league win goes on after they drew 0-0 with Spezia, despite the visitors losing Luca Vignali to a red card after just eight minutes.
It was the earliest expulsion in a Serie A match since Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly was sent off against Fiorentina in April 2018.
But Vincenzo Italiano’s side, who are 14th and enjoying an impressive debut top-flight campaign, had the better chances in the first half as Torino goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu made two good saves.
The hosts failed to make their numerical advantage count, with Cristian Ansaldi coming closest when his shot hit the post in the 90th minute, but the draw leaves Torino in the relegation zone in 18th place with 13 points.
Bologna ended their eight-match winless run in the league as a Riccardo Orsolini penalty was enough to clinch a 1-0 win against Hellas Verona.
The victory leaves Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side 12th with 20 points, seven behind ninth-placed Verona.