A cagey affair was expected between two teams struggling at the wrong end of the table, and that was exactly how the first half panned out in Genoa. Sampdoria, who are Serie A’s lowest goalscorers so far this season, unsurprisingly lacked a goal threat, with Jesé’s poked effort from inside the area the closest they came to opening the scoring during a half which lacked attacking fluency. The Blucerchiati are the only team without a home league victory across the top five European leagues, and they had goalkeeper Emil Audero to thank for keeping the scoreline at 0-0 as he made an excellent diving save to deny Junior Sambia’s cleanly-struck free-kick from just outside the area.
Salernitana won the reverse fixture 4-0 back in August, but their performances since then have been far from vintage as they find themselves embroiled in a relegation battle, and therefore both teams will undoubtedly have been content to still be in the contest at HT.
The Granata had lost six of their last eight away matches prior to this game, and manager Paulo Sousa was keen to try and change his team’s fortunes as he made a double substitution during the break, introducing Pasquale Mazzocchi and Giulio Maggiore for the second half. These alterations didn’t appear to make an instant impact, as it took until just before the hour mark for the first real opportunity to arrive, when Antonio Candreva’s curling effort was pushed away by Audero.
The second half was almost a carbon copy of the first, with chances few and far between as the home fans began to grow increasingly frustrated. The game was encapsulated when Sampdoria’s fourth-highest scorer of all-time, Fabio Quagliarella, scuffed a shot wide from inside the area. The result, which suits neither side, sees Sampdoria remain at the foot of the table, with Salernitana four places higher in 16th.