Sampdoria feels hardly done by after losing to Napoli on Saturday night CET and you cannot blame them one single bit.
The Blucerchiati were defeated 2-1 at the death against the Partenopei in their first Serie A match in 2017 but the defining moment of their encounter was Matias Silvestre’s sending-off more than 15 minutes into the second half.
After being beaten Pepe Reina in an aerial challenge, Silvestre ran alongside him as he went to kick the ball away and then the Napoli goalkeeper fell down. Referee Marco Di Bello believed that the centre-back had fouled the Spaniard and the Samp defender was sent-off after receiving his second yellow card for the game.
It was a moment that changed the match entirely and it handed the Neapolitans the momentum but Il Doria were the better team before that. They were compact in their shape and they were stifling Napoli’s often fluid possession game.
One of Sampdoria’s problems was it was not able to create enough chances to kill the game off.
Patrik Schick’s solo run forced Elseid Hysaj into scoring an own goal and the 20-year-old could have made it 2-0 but the Albanian defender blocked his shot. Although the Czech starlet played a starring role in attack, Fabio Quagliarella barely made an impact and he was replaced by Luis Muriel.
It was Muriel that created the opportunity for Schick to potentially double the Doriani’s lead and the Colombian international nearly scored after dribbling three defenders but Reina parried the ball away.
Throughout the game Sampdoria had often been able to deal with the Napoli’s attacks. Interventions, interceptions, clearances, and tackles were made by the defenders and they were getting support from the midfielders too. Lucas Torreira was one midfielder that barely had any trouble performing his defensive duties.
Unfortunately the pressure the Partenopei applied as the match progressed became too much for the Blucerchiati. Former Samp striker Manolo Gabbiadini equalised for the Neapolitans but Vasco Regini could have marked the forward better or read the cross from Jose Callejon properly.
Christian Puggioni made some magnificent blocks the last 10 minutes of the match and the Doria goalkeeper was doing his best to make sure that the Blucerchiati would leave Naples with at least point.
In stoppage time Lorenzo Tonelli scored the winner for Napoli but the Samp defence could have done much better leading up to the goal. Perhaps fatigue had set in but Dries Mertens and Ivan Strinic should have been pressured more on the Partenopei left-wing and when Tonelli made the dash into the penalty area, Karol Linetty failed to track his run.
Little moments decided the match and Sampdoria went back to Genoa without any points and they deserved at least one. The outcome was that disappointing, only Blucerchiati president Massimo Ferrero spoke to the press after the match, voicing his disgust at Di Bello.
Sampdoria coach Marco Giampaolo will still need time for his philosophy to develop but the Doriani’s performance against Napoli was one that fans can be impressed with, if not the result.
If the Blucerchiati can remain calm in certain moments, be more clinical in their finishing, and have some luck go their way, the Genoese club will collect more points.