Sampdoria’s 12-match unbeaten record against Torino came to an end on Sunday afternoon as Andrea Belotti’s brace earned the Granata a 4-1 win.
Before the match, Sampdoria has conceded just seven goals all season, but a Belotti header from a beautiful Lorenzo De Silvestri cross put Toro in the lead, the striker’s first goal in 479 minutes.
There was controversy just before the break as Belotti was adjudged to have been brought down in the penalty area by Emil Audero, a decision which incensed the Blucerchiati fans. Nevertheless, the Torino No.9 stepped up and bagged his second from the spot.
Samp struggled to create any meaningful chances, but Gianluca Caprari did go close with a curling effort from the left which shaved the far upright.
After the break, Iago Falque wrapped up the three points for Torino after De Silvestri’s cross was headed to the edge of the box by Ola Aina only for the Spaniard to volley home.
Hopes of a comeback sprouted when Daniele Baselli bundled Denis Praet over in the box, and despite Fabio Quagliarella’s spotkick being saved by Salvatore Sirigu, the 35-year-old was alert enough to score the rebound.
Belotti almost had his hat-trick when Aina raced down the left and played a wonderful cross into the box, but Audero made a brilliant stop from the volley.
But ex-Genoa defender Armando Izzo got the fourth late on after a corner wasn’t properly cleared and he poked home from close range.
Sampdoria’s defence has been their main strength this season, conceding just four goals until AC Milan put three past them last weekend, and now Torino have scored four. That’s seven in two games for you mathematicians out there, and the Granata could have had a couple more if they were more clinical. Samp’s fullbacks were outdone by Toro and Tonelli had a torried time against Belotti. Roma are up next and then the Derby della Lanterna, so Samp need to rediscover that defensive wall quick smart.
BELOTTI IS BACK
Five games and 479 minutes later, Andrea Belotti is back on the scoresheet for Torino and not a moment too soon as the Granata bounced back from two draws to move sixth in the Serie A table. A constant menace throughout the match, he never gave Lorenzo Tonelli a moment to think. Brilliant movement got him his first, and a never say die attitude won the penalty.