Sampdoria revive European hopes with derby win
Simone Zaza scored for Torino before seeing red as the northerners hopes of Champions League football next season diminished on Sunday with a 1-1 draw against Cagliari, who themselves had two sent off, as Sampdoria rekindled their Europa League ambitions with a 2-0 derby win over 10-man Genoa.
Three red and nine yellow cards were handed out in Turin, including the sending off of Zaza who had opened the scoring after 52 minutes after connecting with a perfect low cross from Armando Izzo for his third goal this season.
But the Italian forward was dismissed on 74 minutes for arguing with referee Massimiliano Irrati over a free kick awarded against him.
Cagliari pulled level a minute later when Leonardo Pavoletti headed in a Luca Cigarini cross, with the goal confirmed following a long VAR review.
The Sardinian side had two players sent off late with Luca Pellegrini and Nicolo Barella both receiving second yellow cards in the final minutes.
In Genoa, veteran striker Fabio Quagliarella provided the cross for Gregoire Defrel’s opener after three minutes and then added a second from the penalty spot after 53 minutes to go top of the Serie A scorers chart with 22 goals.
Genoa played most of the second half a man down after Davide Biraschi was sent off for a handling offence which resulted in the penalty.
Bottom club Chievo host second-placed Napoli later on Sunday in a game which could decide the championship. If Carlo Ancelotti’s side fail to win Juventus will win the title for an eighth consecutive year.
Chievo, meanwhile, will be relegated if they lose.
In Tuscany, Vincenzo Montella’s first game as Fiorentina coach ended with a goalless draw at home against relegation-candidates Bologna, pushing their winless run to eight games before next week’s clash with Juventus in Turin.
Fiorentina, in 10th position, are 12 points off the Europa League places.