Vintage Quagliarella bags hat-trick as Samp put Fiorentina to the sword
Fabio Quagliarella produced a clinical display of goalscoring prowess on Sunday afternoon as he struck three times to fire Sampdoria to a 3-1 defeat of Fiorentina at Marassi.
It was actually Fiorentina who started the brighter, as Giovanni Simeone twice called Emiliano Viviano into action in the opening exchanges. And the Argentine had an even better chance on 12 minutes with Gian Marco Ferrari completely missing the ball to afford Simeone a clear sight of goal, but the Viola man failed to hit the target with his header.
These were worrying signs for Marco Giampaolo, but his team jolted into life minutes later. Gaston Ramirez found Fabio Quagliarella at the back post, with the Italian teeing the ball up for Dawid Kownacki in the centre. The young Pole seemingly had the goal at his mercy, but somehow Marco Sportiello got across to make the stop.
Samp continued to push forward, buoyed by the near miss, and soon had their opening goal. Quagliarella used his body well to win a loose ball in the Fiorentina box, before steadying himself and slotting past Sportiello to give his side a 1-0 lead.
Chances were few and far between at the start of the second half, though Matias Silvestre could have been an unlikely name on the scoresheet had he shown greater poise when finding himself unmarked in the Fiorentina box on 54 minutes.
Marco Giampaolo decided to freshen up his strike force shortly afterwards, with Duvan Zapata the man chosen to replace Kownacki. Samp were 2-0 up seconds later, but it was not the fresh legs of Zapata but the invaluable experience of Quagliarella that Giampaolo had to thank for giving his team breathing space. After Ramirez won the ball back high up the field, the veteran Italian drifted into space and – on receiving the ball on the left side of the box – poked past Sportiello for his second of the day.
Few would have bet against Quagliarella completing his hat-trick and – sure enough – the striker was on hand to make it 3-0 on 68 minutes after Ramirez found the Italian free in the box with his third assist of the game. There was a deserved standing ovation for Quagliarella has he was brought off on 75 minutes, having scored his 13th, 14th and 15th Serie A goals of the season – a personal best at nearly 35 years of age.
Fiorentina pulled one back ten minutes from the end, Carlos Sanchez heading home after Milan Badelj had helped on a corner, but there was to be no denying Sampdoria here. The final whistle confirmed a 3-1 win which sees Giampaolo’s men move onto 33 points for the season. The three points were Samp’s, but the glory belonged to the magnificent Quagliarella.
Sampdoria 3-1 Fiorentina (HT: 1-0)
Scorers: Quagliarella 30, 60 and 68, Sanchez 80.
Sampdoria (4-3-1-2): Viviano; Bereszynski, Silvestre, Ferrari, Strinic; Praet, Torreira, Linetty; Ramirez (Barreto 84); Kownacki (Zapata 58), Quagliarella (Caprari 75).
Subs not used: Puggioni, Tozzo, Andersen, Dodo, Alvarez, Regini, Verre, Capezzi, Murru.
Coach: Marco Giampaolo.
Fiorentina (4-2-3-1): Sportiello; Laurini, Pezzella, V. Hugo, Biraghi; Benassi (Saponara 65), Badelj; Chiesa, Babacar (G. Dias 66), Eysseric (Sanchez 71); Simeone.
Subs not used: Cerofolini, Dragowski, Milenkovic, Zekhnini, Olivera, Cristoforo, B. Gaspar.
Coach: Stefano Pioli.
Assistants: Preti, Marrazzo.
Fourth official: Calvarese.
VAR assistant: Carbone.
Yellow cards: Eysseric 33, Pezzella 39, Torreira 86.
Added time: 1 + 3 minutes.