The build-up to the first Derby della Lanterna of the new season, from which both sides needed a first Serie A win, was shrouded in further intrigue as soon as camouflaged Genoa youth coach Luca de Pra was caught hiding in a wood next to Sampdoria's training ground.
De Pra, the nephew of famous Genoa goalkeeper Giovanni De Pra, was chased away while his club disavowed all knowledge of espionage tactics.
Whether or not the coach had divulged enemy secrets to his bosses may never be known, but Genoa's players were certainly well informed about their opponents' weaknesses on the night.
Samp were helpless to resist as Luca Antonini, Emanuele Calaio and Francesco Lodi all struck goals of real quality to break their club's duck for the season and earn the bragging rights for at least five months.
The first few minutes were played inside thick red fog from flares in the stands and when it cleared, Antonini was firing Genoa ahead in sensational fashion.
A poor Samp clearance to the right wing in the eighth minute saw Davide Biondini hook the ball into the six-yard box, where Antonini hit a sweet right-footed volley into the bottom corner.
It was the left-back's first goal since a summer switch from AC Milan and his first in Serie A in over three years.
Manolo Gabbiadini scuffed wide at the other end once the celebrations had finished and Samp soon won a free-kick on the edge of the box.
Eder's fierce dart hit the covering Alberto Gilardino flush in the face and, for several anxious moments, it looked like the Italy striker had been knocked out.
He did continue, though, and nearly got his sore head to a low cross only for Vasco Regini to clear.
Delio Rossi's half-time team talk failed to spark a response from Samp and Genoa plundered a second goal in the 50th minute.
The red smoke was thick again as Gilardino picked out Sime Vrsaljko on the wing, the Croatian finding Napoli loanee Calaio for a close-range finish under Angelo da Costa.
The third and final goal of the night came from a sublime free-kick that had Genoa coach Fabio Liverani sprinting across the pitch to celebrate with his players.
Gilardino went to ground in Lodi range and the set-piece specialist - recruited from Catania this summer - did not disappoint, steering a stupendous drive into the top corner with his left boot.