Stalemate in Genoa derby

Iago Falque’s 17th- minute opener for Genoa was cancelled out within two minutes by Eder as the two clubs remained locked together in sixth and seventh in the table respectively.

The Blucerchiati have the edge over their neighbours, however, having won the reverse fixture to ensure a better head-to-head record, while both teams are three points adrift of the top five after 24 matches.

Despite a little bit of rain and some strong wind, the teams lined up at the second time of asking following the postponement of the initial fixture on Saturday night due to a waterlogged pitch.

The fans had turned up in force too for an eagerly-anticipated derby which nearly started with a bang when Andrea Bertolacci’s header only just cleared the crossbar after barely a minute.

Samp responded with some attacking play of their own, suggesting this was not going to be a cagey derby.

The first goal arrived in the 17th minute when M’Baye Niang’s cross was tapped in at the far post by the unmarked Falque.

His celebration in front of the Sampdoria fans was not to the liking of home goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano, who earned a yellow card as he remonstrated with the Genoa midfielder.

Soon after, it was Viviano celebrating in front of his own fans as Samp grabbed an equalised.

Eder robbed Facundo Roncaglia of possession before slotting the ball into the far corner in front of the Genoa fans, who were still celebrating their side’s lead.

Stefano Okaka should have added a second for Samp in the 27th minute but, from just over a yard out, he managed to turn Afriyie Acquah’s cross over the crossbar.

The second half had a lot to live up to if it was to match the first for intensity, but almost understandably the pace of the game dropped.

It was soon time for Samuel Eto’o to make his entrance for Samp with the hosts keen to get a win in front of their own fans, but the best chance to win fell to Pedro Obiang who, faced with only Mattia Perin, sent his shot over the crossbar.

Genoa almost snatched victory with the last attack of the game when Jiri Kucka’s header hit the crossbar and Samp only just managed to clear their lines.

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