Sampdoria triumphed against Genoa in the Derby della Lanterna on Friday evening, securing a 3-1 victory to put them eight points clear of the relegation zone.
Blucerchiati fans had plenty to be happy about prior to the match with former president Massimo Ferrero resigning just days after he was arrested.
The Roman movie producer stood out with his eccentric appearance and theatrical character but his frugal investment in the last two seasons infuriated a suffering supporter base longing for the return of the glory years of the late 1980s and early 90s.
However, this derby win will be remembered for more heroics from Manolo Gabbiadini in attack. The 30-year-old has struggled with injuries since returning to the club in January 2019, but he is getting close to becoming the highest scorer in the Derby della Lanterna, taking his tally to four.
GABBIADINI IS THE BLUCERCHIATI HERO IN THE GENOA DERBY AGAIN
Gabbiadini first joined Sampdoria in the 2013/14 season, and he remained with the Blucerchiati until January 2015, when he was sold to Napoli.
It was during that first stint in Liguria that he scored his first Derby della Lanterna goal. He scored the only goal in Round 5 of the 2014/15 Serie A season with a free-kick that looped over Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin.
After spells with Napoli and Southampton, Gabbiadini returned to Samp and despite the presence of Fabio Quagliarella in attack, the 30-year-old has had his moments. This Friday’s performance will be another one to remember though.
He opened the scoring after eight minutes when Antonio Candreva supplied a cross from the right-wing and headed the ball into the net. He was then involved in the counter-attack which saw Sampdoria double their lead through Francesco Caputo and then the former Sassuolo striker assisted Gabbiadini, whose shot was deflected Genoa defender Zinho Vanheusden.
Gabbiadini’s goal in the Derby della Lanterna in Serie A puts him one behind the record of Adriano Bassetto, a Blucerchiati star from the 1940s and 50s who scored five times in the Genoa derby. He also scored in his last three league games, a streak that he has replicated for the first time since May 2015.
His goal against Genoa was the third time this season that Candreva has supplied an assist for him. The former Lazio and Inter winger has been in excellent form this season and it seems that both Gabbiadini and Candreva have struck a greater understanding, which will be vital as the season progresses.
The former Atalanta youth product has not lived up to the expectations that were placed upon him nearly a decade ago but his latest performance should secure cult hero status for Gabbiadini at Sampdoria.
SHEVCHENKO STRUGGLES FOR SUCCESS AT GENOA
One of the greatest strikers of his generation, if not one of the greatest ever, Andriy Shevchenko has a battle on his hands to try and lift Genoa out of the relegation zone.
He has now lost four out of five Serie A matches as Grifone coach and he has not been able to pass his scoring touch to the players he coaches. The Rossoblu had failed to score a goal in his tenure until Mattia Destro, who had just returned from an injury, diverted an Andrea Cambiaso cross into the net.
Genoa have 10 points after 17 rounds, the worst tally they have had at this stage since three points have been awarded for a victory back in the 1994/95 season, which they were relegated. Shevchenko will need to hope that Destro can remain fit but will that be enough?