STADIO ENNIO TARDINI (Parma) – A superb second-half comeback saw Sampdoria add to Parma’s post-lockdown woes as they turned a two-goal deficit into a 3-2 win on Sunday evening.
A disastrous first half from the visitors saw them trail to a Dejan Kulusevski-inspired Parma, but they came out after the break a different team and never looked back after Julian Chabot headed home their first.
Contrastingly, the Gialloblu were as impressive in the first half as they were poor in the second and they too came out after the break a different side, only for anything but positive reasons.
Parma started brightly but given how they’ve struggled recently even when on top, nothing was certain even after Gervinho had given them the lead.
Dejan Kulusevski and Hernani were finding joy on the right, while Gianluca Caprari was doing his best but left wanting his his end product on the opposite side.
Gervinho did open the scoring in some style, though he was helped by a bit of calamitous defending from Samp. Bartosz Bereszynski naively put his head towards the ball and must have closed his eyes as Gervinho poked it past him before cutting in onto his right and smashing it past Emil Audero and into the roof of the net.
Caprari looked to have doubled the lead when he tapped in from close range after Audero had done excellently to deny a close-range Kulusevski effort, but Gianluca Manganiello on VAR duty informed referee Gianpaolo Calvarese that the former Blucerchiati had been offside before the ball fell his way and so the goal was rightly chalked off.
Roberto D’Aversa’s side have been the victims of misfortune a lot since Serie A’s return, but they weren’t to let their heads drop and persevered, for which they were rewarded before the break.
Bereszynski will want Kulusevski to take the credit as his nightmare continued when he turned a low strike from the Swede, which may well have been goal-bound anyway, into his own goal.
Julian Chabot had been a positive for Samp at the back in the first half and he was responsible for halving the deficit within two minutes of the second half getting underway, climbing highest in the area to head home a Gonzalo Maroni corner.
Claudio Ranieri must have struck a chord at half time as his players looked resurgent after the break and Fabio Quagliarella came close to levelling five minutes after Chabot’s header.
Federico Bonazzoli followed in Quagliarella’s footsteps, finding the side netting just as the veteran had twice as Samp maintained their pressure on the hosts.
The 38-year-old then tried to copy the No.9, replicating his attempted overhead kick but he couldn’t make the desired contact with the ball.
Gaston Brugman had Parma’s first real attempt of the second half from a freekick and Audero was left stranded as the Uruguayan’s attempt bounced off the crossbar and over.
Quaglarella did level things up with what appeared to be a fine chip over Luigi Sepe midway through the half, but the ball did deflect off of Simone Iacoponi’s head before looping over the goalkeeper. and into the top corner.
The comeback was completed with just over ten minutes to play when the visitors got a fine third. Bonazzoli exchanged a one-two with Quagliarella on the edge of the area that put the former through to finish past Sepe.