Samp recover from early setback to put five past Brescia
Sampdoria survived an early scare against Brescia to recover and secure a comfortable 5-1 win in their first match at Marassi of 2020.
Claudio Ranieri’s men started brightly, with Fabio Quagliarella and Jakub Jankto involved in early half-chances for Doria. But it was Brescia who drew first blood after Samp lost the first header from a corner, with Jhon Chancellor popping up in the six-yard box to poke home the loose ball for 1-0.
Doria looked to hit back immediately through Morten Thorsby, Manolo Gabbiadini and Jankto, but the Brescia defence initially withstood the attacks. Samp continued to pour forward, however, with Gabbiadini twice coming close either side of an acrobatic Quagliarella effort.
The pressure proved too much for Brescia when, on 34 minutes, Karol Linetty showed great poise to control with his chest before rifling a left-footed shot into the bottom corner for 1-1.
With their tails up and the fans right behind them, Samp went looking for more behind half time. And Linetty was involved once more as Doria struck again just before the interval: deep into stoppage time, the Pole swung over a cross for Jankto, who volleyed home to give Ranieri’s side a deserved 2-1 lead at half time.
There were signs of a fightback from Brescia at the start of the second half, with Mario Balotelli drawing a strong save from Emil Audero from an early free-kick. Yet Samp were always a threat down the other end, as Gabbiadini fired two shots wide of the target inside the first 15 minutes.
Balotelli was becoming an increasingly key influence in the game – the Italian striker saw a goal ruled out for offside on 57 minutes, before a cheeky lob forced Audero to concede a corner five minutes later.
Yet hopes of a Balotelli-inspired comeback from Brescia were extinguished on the 70-minute mark, as a handball from Chancellor saw Samp awarded a penalty and with it a chance to open up a two-goal lead. Up stepped captain Quagliarella – and he made no mistake.
Samp were rampant now. Claudio Ranieri replaced Gabbiadini with Gianluca Caprari on 76 minutes, and the striker had barely been on the pitch for a minute before he headed home to make it 4-1.
There was still time for another goal, though, and it was a case of saving the best until last for Quagliarella. The veteran striker latched onto a long ball forward, using his strength to make himself the yard of space he needed to dink a measured lob over the keeper and into the back of the net.
The final whistle came soon after, confirming a stunning 5-1 win for Sampdoria, who extend their unbeaten start to 2020.
Sampdoria 5-1 Brescia (HT: 2-1)
Scorers: Chancellor 12, Linetty 34, Jankto 45+3, Quagliarella 69 (pen.) and 90+2, Caprari 77.
Sampdoria (4-4-2): Audero; Bereszynski (Murillo 86), Chabot, Regini, Murru; Linetty, Thorsby, Vieira (Ekdal 82), Jankto; Gabbiadini (Caprari 76), Quagliarella.
Subs not used: Seculin, Falcone, Augello, Bonazzoli, Rigoni, Maroni, Leris, Rocha.
Brescia (4-3-1-2): Joronen; Sabelli, Chancellor, Mangraviti, Mateju (Martella 82); Bisoli, Viviani, Romulo; Spalek (Ndoj 69); Torregrossa, Balotelli.
Subs not used: Andrenacci, Alfonso, Gastaldello, Zmrhal, Donnarumma, Aye, Magnani, Matri, Morosini, Semprini.
Assistants: Gori, Muto.
Fourth official: Manganiello.
VAR: Di Bello, Manganelli.
Yellow cards: Bisoli 10, Vieira 22, Romulo 38, Murru 42, Chancellor 68.
Added time: 3 + 3 mins.