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Samp held to dramatic 2-2 draw by Fiorentina


Samp held to dramatic 2-2 draw by Fiorentina

Sampdoria had to settle for a point as Fiorentina produced a late equaliser to hold the hosts to a 2-2 draw at Marassi on Sunday lunchtime.

Kick-off was delayed for 20 minutes due to Fiorentina arriving late at Marassi, but there was an energetic start and the Samp faithful were on their feet on five minutes as Bruno Fernandes handed the home side the lead in stunning fashion. Latching onto a through ball, the Portuguese lashed a stunning right-footed effort back across goal and into the back of the net for 1-0 and his fifth goal of the season.

The opener saw further confidence pour into the Doria ranks, with Marco Giampaolo’s team creating a series of half chances in the minutes that followed. On 22 minutes, Ciprian Taturusanu skewed his free-kick straight to Patrik Schick, who played in Bruno Fernandes only for the Romanian keeper to make amends with a fine save.

Fiorentina sparked into life soon afterwards. Milan Skriniar had his pocket picked near the halfway line, with Khouma Babacar scooping up the ball and unleashing an instinctive shot towards – but just past – Emiliano Viviano’s right-hand post. Down the other end, Fabio Quagliarella chested the ball down before trying his own long-range lob, but it sailed narrowly over.

Paulo Sousa’s side threatened to find an equalise in the minutes before half time, with first Cristian Tello drawing a low save from Viviano and then Gonzalo Rodriguez guiding a header wide, but Samp were able to take a 1-0 lead into the break.

Sousa threw on Nikola Kalinic for Josip Ilicic at the break, but Samp continued to frustrate the Viola in the early exchanges. There was a great chance for Fiorentina on 56 minutes, as Tello beat Dodo on the right before sliding a shot across goal – Sampdoria had the post to thank for preserving their 1-0 lead.

There was to be no such reprieve on the hour mark, however, as sustained pressure from Fiorentina saw the visitors win a corner. Gonzalo Rodriguez – on his 200th appearance for the Viola – rose at the near post to guide a perfectly timed headed into the back of the net for 1-1.

Giampaolo moved to break up the Fiorentina momentum, sending on Dennis Praet and Ricky Alvarez for Bruno Fernandes and Karol Linetty within a few moments of each other. And Alvarez had barely been on the field for two minutes before his found himself played through on the left side of the Fiorentina goal – the Argentine steadied himself and duly slotted into the net to send the Samp fans wild.

The Viola were anything but dead and buried, however, as Kalinic saw his header cannon back off the same post that had denied Tello earlier in the half. It looked as though Samp might hold on for the win, but there was more to come from the visitors: on 89 minutes, Babacar picked up the ball just outside the Samp box before smashing a right-footed effort past Viviano and into the back of the net for 2-2.

With seconds on the clock, Babacar found himself one-on-one with Viviano. The Senegalese poked the ball to the Doria keeper’s left, but Viviano stuck out a leg to save his team from a harsh fate. The referee blew his whistle soon afterwards, Marassi rising as one to applaud a fine game of football.

Sampdoria 2-2 Fiorentina (HT: 1-0)
Scorers:  Bruno Fernandes 5; Gonzalo Rodriguez 60, Alvarez 71, Babacar 89.

Sampdoria (4-3-1-2): Viviano; Bereszynski, Silvestre, Skriniar, Dodo (Regini 74); Barreto, Torreira, Linetty (Alvarez 89); Fernandes (Praet 65); Quagliarella, Schick.
Subs not used: Puggioni, Falcone, Simic, Palombo, Regini, Pavlovic, Cigarini, Djuricic, Tessiore, Budimir.
Coach: Marco Giampaolo.

Fiorentina (3-4-2-1): Tatarusanu; Sanchez, G. Rodriguez, Astori; Tello, Badelj, Milic (Chiesa 73); Ilicic (Kalinic HT), Bernardeschi (Saponara 81); Babacar.
Subs not used: Sportiello, De Maio, Olivera, Salcedo, Cristoforo, Hagi, Maistro, Mlakar, Tomovic.
Coach: Paulo Sousa.

Referee: Russo.
Assistants: Dobosz, De Pinto.
Fourth official: Vuoto.
Additional assistants: Pairetto, Aureliano.

Yellow cards: Gonzalo Rodriguez 25, Praet 67, Alvarez 75.
Added time: 1 + 4 minutes.

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