Serie A Club of the Round – Genoa

A late consolation goal by Sampdoria prevented Fiorentina from keeping a clean sheet and assembling a glorious fantasy haul thanks to a 5-1 romp, so the nod goes to the team next in line, Genoa, which surprised Bologna on the road and took full advantage of a pair of favourable episodes on their way to a perfect result.

The Griffon got their first win in a month in the previous round, a narrow one over Cagliari at home, while they had tied with Fiorentina and Atalanta in the two previous outings, thus showing decent signs of improvements and starting to pick up some momentum in the relegation race.

Davide Nicola could not count on Cristian Romero, Lasse Schone and Paolo Ghiglione due to recent injuries, confirmed Adama Soumaoro as anchor of the back-line and Ivan Radovanovic in the midfield, joined by the returning Valon Behrami and Petar Ankersen on the right flank. The front-line for the day was formed by Goran Pandev and Antonio Sanabria, but the veteran subbed off early after tweaking his knee and was substituted by Andrea Pinamonti.

Mattia Perin saved the first venomous attempt by Riccardo Orsolini, while Lukasz Skorupski palmed away at the last minute a flying deflection by Sanabria on a corner kick. At the 28th minute, Radovanovic found Andrea Masiello in the box following another set piece, the centre-back fired a square ball that was met and punched in by fellow defender Adama Soumaoro. The game went further in the guests’ favour six minutes later as Jerdy Schouten was sent off for a terrible tackle.

Stefano Sturaro had a major opportunity to score on a wide-open half-volley from the edge of the box, but Skorupski denied him. The second goal still came before the end of the first half as Sanabria went on a coast-to-coast following a corner kick for Bologna, encountered very little resistance until he reached the box, bamboozled Danilo with a pair of hesitation moves and burned the goalie with a crossing daisy-cutter.

The Felsinei rarely hit the mark in their attempts to re-open the contest in the second half, where Musa Barrow tried to lead the charge, and never challenged Perin too severely. Near the end of the bout, Stefano Denswil made a mess on a routine cross and kicked Sturaro in the face in the box while trying to control the ball and Domenico Criscito bagged the sixth goal of his campaign.

Genoa, which have accrued points in four straight rounds, are still one of the bottom three teams, but reduced the gamp with Sampdoria and Udinese and kept up with Lecce. Their defenders dominated in the fantasy game as Criscito gathered nine points, Soumaoro eight and Masiello seven, like Perin. The rest of the back-line amassed five for not conceding, Radovanovic four because he set up a teammate, Behrami two and Sturaro one.

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