Samp’s campaign up and running: Quagliarella brace ensures Blucerchiati victory

Sampdoria got their 2017/18 Serie A campaign off to a winning start at home to newly-promoted Benevento this evening, coming back from 1-0 down to win 2-1.

It wasn’t easy, as it never is at this level, but Marco Giampaolo’s side passed their first test of the season with plenty of positives.

The coach made a couple of changes following last week’s cup victory against Foggia: Daniel Pavlovic came in at left-back and Gaston Ramirez was deployed in the No.10 role.

Samp made a slow start allowing Benevento to take the initiative, and soon after the lead, early on. Their goal came in the 15th minute, when Amato Ciciretti cut into the penalty box and curled a shot inside Christian Puggioni’s far post. They could easily have doubled their lead soon after, but the Blucerchiati keeper produced a superb leap to claw the ball away from the top corner.

That effort seemed to jolt the home side into life and both Lucas Torreira and Fabio Quagliarella had a couple of sighters on goal. The veteran striker delivered six minutes from the half-time break, responding quickest to Vid Belec’s parry on a shot by Dennis Praet and slamming into an unguarded net. The players awaited confirmation from the VAR system before celebrating the equaliser.

Samp’s new signing Gaston Ramirez was showing some neat touches and, nine minutes into the second half, he won the ball back in Benevento’s half before advancing and sliding an inch-perfect ball through to Quagliarella, in on goal. Our no.27 made no mistake, slotting the ball home in front of the adoring Gradinata Sud.

Anyone who thought the three points were in the back was sorely mistaken, with George Puscas coming close on a couple of occasions.

In amidst a raft of changes from both coaches, the Blucerchiati managed to keep their heads and, apart from a fierce shot from Massimo Coda tipped over the bar, held onto full-time without any more danger.

Not the easiest of starts to the new campaign, but a good performance and ultimately the victory is all that matters.

Sampdoria 2-1 Benevento (HT: 1-1)

Scorers: Ciciretti 15, Quagliarella 39, Quagliarella 54

Sampdoria (4-3-1-2): Puggioni; Sala, Silvestre, Regini, Pavlovic; Barreto, Torreira, Praet (Djuricic, 84); Ramírez (Linetty, 67); Caprari (Bonazzoli, 63), Quagliarella.
Subs not used: Tozzo, Alvarez, Ferrari, Verre, Bereszynski, Capezzi, Murru, Kownacki.
Coach: Giampaolo.

Benevento (4-4-2): Belec; Venuti, Lucioni, Costa, Letizia (Di Chiara, 72); Ciciretti, Cataldi, Del Pinto (Viola, 83), D’Alessandro; Coda, Puscas (Cissè, 82).
Subs not used: Piscitelli, Brignoli, Djimsiti, Camporese, Gyamfi, Gravillon, Donnarumma, Brignola.
Coach: Baroni.

Referee: Fabrizio Pasqua
Assistants: Riccardo Di Fiore and Emanuele Prenna.
Fourth official: Daniele Minelli.
VAR: Paolo Silvio Mazzoleni.
VAR assistant: Marco Serra.

Yellow cards: Barreto 44, Cataldi 90+5.

Additional time: 0+5 minutes.