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Samp wake up too late: Belotti brace beats the Blucerchiati

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Samp wake up too late: Belotti brace beats the Blucerchiati

Two goals from Andrea Belotti during a first half in which Sampdoria simply did not turn up were enough for the points to stay at Torino’s Stadio Olimpico this evening.

The home side’s commitment and energy showed why they too are fully in the race for the remaining European spots, but the Blucerchiati will be disappointed with their performance tonight. Too often in the first 45, Marco Giampaolo’s players seemed overrun and bereft of ideas.

Torino started on the front foot and crafted three openings in the first quarter of an hour, the latter in particular requiring an excellent save by Emil Audero as a looping header threatened to catch him out.

Samp were struggling to put together extended periods of possession and get out of their half, and it told in the 33rd minute when the ever-dangerous Andrea Belotti leapt highest to meet a cross and direct it into the far corner for 1-0.

Rather than rally after going down, the goal seemed to sow even more confusion in the Blucerchiati backline and Nicolas Nkoulou almost doubled the lead immediately.

As it happened, Torino only had to wait until the first minute of additional time in the first half to find their second goal: when the ball spilled to Belotti in the area, the Italian striker instinctively toe-poked it into the back of the net, extending yet further his excellent scoring record against the Doria.

Clearly a reaction was needed and Giampaolo, who cut a frustrated figure for most of the first half, had a big speech to make during the break.

Whatever was said in the changing room, it didn’t appear to make an immediate difference, as the Granata continued to be the more dominant side.

Nevertheless, Sampdoria kept on trying – to their credit – and both Gaston Ramirez, with a sweetly caught volley, and substitute Gregoire Defrel had decent efforts.

Their fellow striker partner Manolo Gabbiadini was having a frustrating evening, but it was he who gave a glimmer of hope in the 83rd minute, when his superbly struck low drive into the bottom-right corner left Salvatore Sirigu rooted.

Unfortunately, the Samp comeback started and ended there, as Torino successfully held out for the remaining 12 minutes.

The loss leaves a bitter taste in the mouth, but while Doria’s European ambitions have clearly taken a hit, it’s far from over, provided we bounce back immediately on Saturday at home to Roma.

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

Scorers: Belotti 33, 45+1, Gabbiadini 83.

Torino (3-5-2): Sirigu; Izzo, Nkoulou, Moretti (Djidji, 82); De Silvestri (Parigini, 68), Meite, Rincon, Ansaldi; Baselli, Berenguer (Lukic, 88); Belotti.
Subs not used: Ichazo, Rosati, Zaza, Damascan, Bremer.
Coach: Mazzarri.

Sampdoria (4-3-1-2): Audero; Bereszynski, Andersen, Colley (Tonelli, 40), Murru; Praet, Vieira, Linetty (Jankto, 74); Ramírez (Defrel, 60); Gabbiadini, Quagliarella.
Subs not used: Rafael, Belec, Saponara, Sala, Sau, Tavares, Ferrari.
Coach: Giampaolo.

Referee: Maresca.
Assistants: Costanzo, Tolfo.
Fourth official: Abbattista.
VAR: Aureliano.
VAR Assistant: Lo Cicero.

Yellow cards: Bereszynski 56, De Silvestri 61, Murru 76, Rincon 86, Lukic 90, Gabbiadini 90+1.

Additional time: 5+4 minutes.

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