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Gabbiadini and Tonelli goals condemn Samp to cruel loss


Gabbiadini and Tonelli goals condemn Samp to cruel loss

It was not a happy start to the new year for Marco Giampaolo and his players, as Sampdoria suffered the cruellest of defeats away at Napoli. Having taken the lead and competed well with one of the top sides in Europe, Matias Silvestre’s dismissal after the hour mark ultimately changed the course of the game. The Blucerchiati then found themselves under sizeable pressure against the title-challengers, who made their dominance pay.

It was a cold night in the south of Italy and Doria took their time to get going. Dries Mertens threatened with a wicked free-kick after just five minutes, while Lorenzo Insigne found an opening moments later but could only produce a weak effort.

Having grown into the match, the Blucerchiati took the lead on the half-hour mark. Patrik Schick did well to get in behind the Napoli defence. He broke into the box from the right and his left foot cross was diverted into the goal by Elseid Hysaj.

The hosts began the second half with real intent. Mertens was presented with a golden opportunity within two minutes of the restart, after Vasco Regini failed to clear his lines. However, the Belgian wasn’t able to capitalise and blazed over the bar. Soon after that Hamsik hit two fiercely-struck shots, but they failed to trouble Christian Puggioni.

Napoli were monopolising possession, looking to build attacks from the back, but Doria were keen to press and came close to doubling their lead. Luis Muriel, who entered the fray to replace Fabio Quagliarella, created Samp’s first good opening of the second half. He burst down the right and into the area at pace. His attempt broke to Schick and the youngster did well to react, but he couldn’t find a gap and his shot was blocked.

Shortly after that, however, the Blucerchiati found themselves down to ten men. Silvestre, who had already been booked, appeared to foul Pepe Reina as he was throwing the ball out of defence. On further inspection, however, contact appears to have been minimal at most.

Napoli eventually found their way through and levelled the scores after 77 minutes. An Insigne cross from the left was met at the back post by Jose Callejon, who played the ball across to Manolo Gabbiadini. The former Samp man simply couldn’t miss and bundled the ball home.

Penned into their own half as Napoli searched for a winner, Doria were defending stoutly, but the match culminated in heartbreak for the visitors.

With seconds left on the clock, the ball broke to Ivan Strinic in the box. He brought the ball to the byline before a clever cut-back with his left foot found Lorenzo Tonelli in acres of space. The debutant made no mistake and rifled the ball into the roof of the net.

Samp were crestfallen having held on so valiantly with just ten men, but there was no time for a response. Fortunately, Giampaolo’s men can look ahead to the next game, to channel that rage and sense of injustice.

Napoli 2-1 Sampdoria (HT: 0-1)

Scorers: Hysaj O.G. 30; Gabbiadini 77, Tonelli 90+5.

Napoli (4-3-3): Reina; Hysaj, Tonelli, Chiriches, Strinic; Allan (Zielinski 59), Jorginho (Gabbiadini 72), Hamsik; Callejon, Mertens, L. Insigne.
Subs not used: Rafael, Sepe, Giaccherini, Maggio, Maksimovic, Rog, Pavoletti, Diawara, R. Insigne, Lasicki.
Coach: Maurizio Sarri.

Sampdoria (4-3-1-2): Puggioni; Pereira, Silvestre, Skriniar, Regini; Barreto, Torreira, Praet; Alvarez; Quagliarella (Muriel 51), Schick (Dodo 65).
Subs not used: Krapikas, Tozzo, Fernandes, Linetty, Palombo, Pavlovic, Cigarini, Djuricic, Bereszynski, Budimir.
Coach: Marco Giampaolo.

Referee: Di Bello (Brindisi).
Assistants: Manganelli (Valdarno) and Lo Cicero (Brescia).
Fourth official: Pegorin (Latina).
Additional assistants: Banti (Livorno) and Fabbri (Ravenna).
Red cards: Silvestre 61.
Yellow cards: Silvestre 54, 61; Hysaj 69.
Added time: 1 + 5 minutes.

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