Genoa win tense city derby against Sampdoria

Roma, Nov 29 (DPA) Genoa stepped close to the upper tiers in the Serie A late Saturday with a 3-0 win over Sampdoria in a city derby decided by goals from Omar Milanetto, Marco Rossi and Raffaele Palladino.

Genoa scored their second goal with 10 men and secured the win after Samp also had a player dismissed with 25 minutes left.

The win pushed Genoa within one point of Samp, who lie fourth on 24 points from 14 games.

Milanetto fired a spot kick past Luca Castellazzi on 11 minutes after Swissman Reto Ziegler floored Argentine Rodrigo Palacio.

Samp’s fans shivered on 22 minutes as Ziegler blocked a break from the fast Giuseppe Sculli deflecting the ball against the post with Castellazzi entirely cut off.

With Samp on the ropes, Domenico Criscito aimed a good header for Genoa on 35 minutes, but Castellazzi managed to deflect the ball against his bar.

There seemed to be trouble for Genoa when Biava was sent off with a second booking for handling the ball on 45 minutes, but Rossi’s goal after the break settled matters for his red-blue side.

Castellazzi managed to save an own goal after a deflection from his defender Daniele Gastaldello, but was unable to block a close-range drive from the spurting midfielder Rossi on 53 minutes.

It was hard to notice that Genoa were one man down as Castellazzi had to block a lob from Milanetto and Samp lost their advantage when their defender Marco Rossi was dismissed after a second booking.

Palladino’s converted a spot kick with 15 minutes left and Samp also had Fabrizio Cacciatore dismissed in the dying minutes.

Earlier Saturday, Serie A top striker Antonio Di Natale and Antonio Floro Flores secured Udinese’s 2-0 win over Livorno in the first half of a weekend opener played in Udine.

Di Natale scored his 10th goal on 29 minutes, curling a free kick past the goalkeeper Alfonso De Lucia, who watched the ball swerve at the junction of bar and post.

The 32-year-old international has one more goal to his name than Roma captain Francesco Totti, who scored a hat-trick last weekend against Bari and who will look to respond to Di Natale when Roma visit Bergamo side Atalanta on Sunday.

Udinese’s other Naples-born striker Floro Flores boasts half as many goals after his a great header off a feed from Serb Aleksandar Lukovic that on 37 minutes sank Livorno’s hopes for recovery.

Twelve minutes into the second half, Cristiano Lucarelli’s drive forced a first save from Slovenia international Samir Handanovic, who rescued Udinese being well positioned and reactive even though the nasty drive rebounded few metres before him.

After notching one point from the past three games, the win pushed Udinese on to 18, lying level with Roma and promoted Bari. Livorno sit in the lower reaches with five other teams struggling to steer clear of the last three positions.

Leaders Inter Milan on Sunday host Fiorentina with a five-point lead on second-place Juve, who visit solid Cagliari, while third-place AC Milan play a late game at Catania as they lag seven points behind their city rivals.