Genoa took a big step towards Serie A survival and ended a four-year wait for Derby della Lanterna glory with a 2-1 win over in-form rivals Sampdoria at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris on Wednesday.
Grifone captain Domenico Criscito’s penalty was cancelled out by a Manolo Gabbiadini strike in the first half, but Lukas Lerager drilled home a 72nd-minute winner to end Genoa’s seven-match winless run in the famous derby clash.
It is a significant moment in the Rossoblu’s bid to avoid the drop, as it keeps the 17th-placed side four points clear of Lecce with just three rounds remaining.
A clumsy challenge from Omar Colley on Goran Pandev handed Genoa a spot kick after 20 minutes, and Criscito stepped up to smash a shot down the middle from 12 yards.
It was a deserved lead after a strong start from Davide Nicola’s side, but they couldn’t make it last as Samp midfielder Karol Linetty’s shot ricocheted into the path of Gabbiadini to hammer home the equaliser 10 minutes later.
Genoa thought they had got their noses back in front in first half stoppage time when Emil Audero spilled a freekick delivery into the path of Lerager for a simple finish.
However, the goalkeeper’s blushes were spared when a VAR review showed that Grifone defender Cristian Romero was marginally offside before he challenged Audero in the air.
Lerager eventually got his goal and restored the Rossoblu’s lead on the 72nd minute after Filip Jagiello pinched the ball off a dozing Bartosz Bereszynski on the edge of the area before teeing up the Dane for a low strike into the bottom corner.
Gaston Ramirez threatened late on as he exchanged passes with fellow substitute Fabio Quagliarella to find space in the area, but his low shot was too close to Mattia Perin, who got down quickly to keep it out.