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Fernandes cancels out Falcinelli; Samp extend unbeaten run with 1-1 draw at Crotone


Fernandes cancels out Falcinelli; Samp extend unbeaten run with 1-1 draw at Crotone

A much-improved performance in the second half at the Stadio Ezio Scida this afternoon saw Bruno Fernandes get Sampdoria’s equaliser against Crotone to take home a deserved point.

There was little to separate the teams at the start of the game, with few clear-cut chances. The hosts probably shaded the encounter in the first half, spending more time in Sampdoria’s half and showing more enterprise.

In the 23rd minute, Crotone broke sharply and it ended up with Diego Falcinelli in a great position about 12 yards out, but he mis-kicked his shot and the ball went wide. Marcello Trotta found himself in a similar situation six minutes later, opening up his body and shooting with his left, but his effort was weak and trickled into Christian Puggioni’s grateful arms.

The hosts made no mistake at the third time of asking. Raffaele Palladino from the left drew a sharp save out of Puggioni, who could only manage to palm it back into the danger area where Falcinelli was waiting to volley home.

The Blucerchiati’s chances in the first 45 were limited to speculative efforts from Ricky Alvarez, Fabio Quagliarella and Luis Muriel – none of which troubled Alex Cordaz’s goal unduly.

Marco Giampaolo’s players needed to step it up in the second half and so they did. Dennis Praet for an off-colour Karol Linetty was the only change, with the Belgian given instructions to add energy and invention to the midfield.

That looked to have done the trick and in the 57th minute Fabio Quagliarella struck a dipping effort that Cordaz palmed away and his strike partner Luis Muriel then followed up with a shot across goal which the Italian shot-stopper turned behind for a corner.

The Colombian nearly went one better five minutes later, dropping his shoulder to beat his marker in the area and unleashing a vicious shot that cannoned off the bar. Doria had all the impetus now and you could sense a goal was coming.

The moment finally came in the 73rd minute when Quagliarella at the far post volleyed the ball back across goal, where Fernandes was waiting to stab it into the roof of the net.

Muriel nearly got the winner a few minutes later after leaving his marker for dead and shooting, but a Crotone defender got the decisive block in. The Colombian then jumped highest from the resulting corner and, angling his header downwards, put it narrowly wide.

Despite another acrobatic save from Cordaz on Muriel in the final minute, there were no other real chances of note and it finished 1-1. On the balance of both halves, a draw was probably a fair result and it’s one that Giampaolo will surely be satisfied with.

Sampdoria’s unbeaten streak now stretches back to the loss away against Juventus on 3 October and the players will be hoping to extend that run on Thursday against Cagliari in the Coppa Italia.

Crotone 1-1 Sampdoria (HT: 1-0)

Scorers: Falcinelli 45, Bruno Fernrandes 73.

Crotone (4-4-2): Cordaz; Rosi, Ceccherini, Ferrari, Mesbah (Martella 71); Rohden, Barberis, Crisetig (Capezzi 87), Palladino (Stoian 79); Trotta, Falcinelli.
Subs not used: Festa, Cojocaru, Salzano, Dussenne, Sampirisi, Suljic, Fazzi, Borello, Nwankwo.
Coach: Davide Nicola.

Sampdoria (4-3-1-2): Puggioni; Pereira, Silvestre, Skriniar, Regini; Barreto, Torreira, Linetty (Praet 45); Alvarez (Fernandes 52); Quagliarella, Muriel (Schick 88).
Subs not used: Krapikas, Tozzo, Dodô, Eramo, Krajnc, Palombo, Cigarini, Djuricic, Budimir.
Coach: Marco Giampaolo.

Referee: Fabio Maresca.
Assistants: Alessandro Costanzo and Damiano Di Iorio.
Fourth official: Ciro Carbone di Napoli.
Additional assistants: Claudio Gavillucci and Marco Piccinini.

Yellow cards: Rosi 5, Trotta 38, Ferrari 40; Nicola sent to the stands for dissent in the 62nd minute.

Additional time: 1+5 minutes.

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