Sampdoria 1-0 Napoli

Italian football news – Serie A Week 38 – 16/5/10 – Stadium Ferraris –
Ref: Rizzoli
Sampdoria 1-0 Napoli
Pazzini 51 (S)

Sampdoria: Storari; Zauri, Lucchini, Gastaldello, Ziegler (Cacciatori 64); Semioli (Guberti 63), Palombo, Tissone, Mannini; Cassano (Pozzi 87), Pazzini
Napoli: De Sanctis; Santacroce, Cannavaro, Grava; Maggio (Hoffer 63), Cigarini (Maiello 86), Pazienza, Dossena, Zuniga (Bogliacino 69); Denis, Quagliarella

Giampaolo Pazzini’s lone header proved enough to send Sampdoria into the Champions League, but they had quite a few scares.

There were mixed emotions at Marassi, as the Blucerchiati knew a victory would secure fourth place, but also realised Gigi Del Neri was likely to join Juventus next season. Samp had lost just once in over two months and hoped to maintain their unbeaten home record. Napoli were already sure of sixth position and missed Marek Hamsik, Hugo Campagnaro and the suspended Ezequiel Lavezzi, but it was a return for ex-Blucerchiati men Fabio Quagliarella, Christian Maggio and Walter Mazzarri.

In the opening minute there was an interruption, as a fan rushed on to the pitch wearing a t-shirt that read ‘Cassano for the Nazionale.’ Daniele Mannini wore a protective mask with the message: ‘They broke my nose.’

Gianluca Grava used his chest to stop a dangerous Antonio Cassano cross making its way into the six-yard box, while Morgan De Sanctis smothered a fierce Tissone snapshot from outside the box.

News filtered through that Palermo were winning in Bergamo, so Samp needed a victory to recapture fourth place. However, Napoli had some great chances, as Luciano Zauri effectively needed a goalline clearance to keep out a German Denis cross-shot that beat the goalkeeper and Paolo Cannavaro volleyed off target.

Quagliarella nearly ruined the party for his former club, as a towering header from a corner forced Marco Storari into a fantastic reaction save!

Cassano was the only one giving Samp some inspiration and dribbled between four Napoli shirts before he was eventually held back.

Sampdoria took the lead six minutes after the restart with Giampaolo Pazzini. It was a Reto Ziegler free kick from near the corner flag that found ‘Pazzo’ for a towering header from five yards, as he got away from Fabiano Santacroce. A win here would guarantee Champions League qualification.

Quagliarella went so close to an equaliser, as he dribbled between two defenders for an angled drive that Storari beat away with his outstretched foot.

Napoli so nearly made it 1-1 on 67 minutes, as a free kick found Dossena at the back post for a volley that Storari turned on to the upright from six yards.

There was panic at the 87th minute, as a Santacroce hopeful ball forward was flicked on and almost resulted in an own goal, Storari scrambling back with Hoffer to see it whistle wide.

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