With the chance to complete their first-ever double over Sampdoria in Serie A, Lecce very nearly got off to a perfect start against a side on the brink of relegation in Italy’s top flight.
The early opportunity fell the way of Assan Ceesay, who stooped low only to head marginally wide at the back post in agonising fashion.
The hosts continued to pile on the pressure, but somehow failed to find the back of the net after four attempts in the same sequence of play saw Nicola Ravaglia spring into action alongside his defenders, who did brilliantly to block continuous efforts on the goal line, before Remi Oudin fired wide.
Lecce were finally rewarded in the 31st minute when Ceesay broke the deadlock after meeting Gabriel Strefezza’s ball in behind, before unleashing a perfectly-executed half-volley into the back of the net.
The forward’s goal was Lecce’s second in their last six games following a frustrating spell in front of goal.
As the league’s lowest scorers, the chances looked slim when it came to a Sampdoria comeback. The Blucerchiati’s record ahead of kick-off of five straight wins on their travels in Lecce, alongside Dejan Stankovic’s four changes at the break, left the visitors with a fighting chance, however, and this soon led to an unexpected equaliser.
Coming from one of Stankovic’s four substitutes, Jese broke in behind, before audaciously dinking the onrushing Wladimiro Falcone to level things up in the 75th minute.
The Sampdoria joy was very nearly cancelled out late on when Federico Di Francesco was there to sweep home on the rebound, only for the offside flag to help the visitors secure a point on the road.
The 1-1 draw extends Lecce’s winless run in Serie A to seven games as they sit five points adrift of the drop zone. Sampdoria, meanwhile, sit 10 points adrift of survival, having picked up just nine points on their travels this season.