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Samp denied by last-gasp Viola equaliser in rip-roaring 3-3 draw


Samp denied by last-gasp Viola equaliser in rip-roaring 3-3 draw

And breathe.

Sampdoria were involved in perhaps the finest match of the entire 2018/19 Serie A season on Sunday as they drew 3-3 with Fiorentina at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence.

The game had it all, including a brace from the timeless Fabio Quagliarella that saw the striker move to the top of the league scoring charts at the age of 35.

Fiorentina started the brighter, with Federico Chiesa causing Samp plenty of problems down the right. On 18 minutes, the youngster barrelled down the flank before squaring for Giovanni Simeone, only for Jacopo Sala to slide in and save a certain goal. Former Doria striker Luis Muriel also threatened to come back to haunt his old team, but the Samp backline stood firm to deny him – for a while at least.

Quagliarella had a golden opportunity to give Samp the lead against the run of play on 28 minutes, but failed to apply the finish with the goal gaping. And Marco Giampaolo’s men were left rueing that miss as Muriel fired Fiorentina ahead with a fine solo run and finish six minutes later. The Colombian refused to celebrate, but it was a body blow for Samp all the same.

Yet Giampaolo’s side are made of stern stuff – and they received a timely boost on 38 minutes as Edimilson Fernandes was shown a second yellow card after a clumsy challenge. Stefano Pioli will have been furious with his midfielder, especially as Samp drew level one minute before half time after Gaston Ramirez curled home a majestic free-kick, with the ball clipping the post on its way in.

Fiorentina switched to a more defensive system in the second half, slowing the pace of the game down and frustrating an eager Samp side. But with Chiesa and Muriel on the field, the Viola always had a threat. On 70 minutes, the two combined to great effect as Muriel scored a stunning individual goal to restore Fiorentina’s lead at 2-1.

Again, Samp refused to yield and won a penalty minutes later after Bryan Dabo handled the ball in the Fiorentina box. Up stepped Quagliarella to blast home and extend his scoring run to ten consecutive Serie A matches.

There was even better to come for Samp and Quagliarella, with the veteran Italian striker firing his side into a 3-2 lead after getting the better of Nikola Milenkovic in the box.

It had been quite the game at the Franchi, but there was a sting in the tail for Samp as German Pezzella poked home at the far post to salvage a point for Fiorentina in the third minute of second-half stoppage time. The final whistle came soon afterwards, confirming a 3-3 draw in Florence which sends Samp onto 30 points for the season.

Fiorentina 3-3 Sampdoria (HT: 1-1)
Scorers: Muriel 34, 70, Ramirez 44, Quagliarella pen. 80, 85, Pezzella 90+3.

Fiorentina (4-3-3): Lafont; Milenkovic, Pezzella, V. Hugo (Mirallas 86), Biraghi; Gerson, E. Fernandes, Veretout; Chiesa, Simeone (Dabo HT), Muriel (Laurini 77).
Subs not used: Brancolini, Dragowski, Laurini, Ceccherini, Norgaard, Eysseric, Pjaca, Hancko, Benassi, Thereau.
Coach: Stefano Pioli.

Sampdoria (4-3-1-2): Audero; Sala, Tonelli, Andersen, Murru; Praet, Ekdal, Jankto (Gabbiadini 74); Ramirez (Saponara HT); Quagliarella, Caprari (Defrel 70).
Subs not used: Rafael, Belec, Vieira, Colley, Regini, Tavares, Bereszynski, Ferrari, Rolando.
Coach: Marco Giampaolo.

Referee: Di Bello.
Assistants: Paganessi, Ranghetti.
Fourth official: Ros.
VAR: Doveri, Valeriani.

Yellow cards: Fernandes 14, 39, Ramirez 22, Milenkovic 34, Jankto 61, Hugo 80, Biraghi 82, Ekdal 82, Murru 90+2, Veretout 90+2.
Red cards: Fernandes 39 (second bookable offence)

Added time: 1 + 3 minutes.

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