SERIE A: Genoa held by Palermo, Chievo end losing streak

AFP, MILAN, Italy

Mon, Oct 08, 2012 - Page 18

Genoa climbed to sixth in the Serie A table after earning a hard-fought point in a 1-1 draw with strugglers Palermo on Saturday as Chievo beat Sampdoria to halt their five-match losing streak.

Palermo, who secured their first victory of the campaign last weekend with a 4-1 trouncing of Chievo, were on course for a second consecutive win as Luigi Giorgi sent a glancing header past Genoa goalkeeper Sebastien Frey after a quarter of an hour.

The goal sparked Genoa into life though and the visitors were indebted to Samir Ujkani for keeping their lead intact going into half-time.

However, the Albanian’s resistance was finally broken as his goal was breached seven minutes into the second half when Marco Borriello headed in Cristobal Jorquera’s volleyed cross.

Palermo threatened to regain the lead as Ezequiel Munoz and Abel Hernandez sent efforts just wide of the target, while Peruvian midfielder Juan Manuel Vargas badly miscued a far-post volley for the home side.

The draw did little to boost Palermo’s woes as Gian Piero Gasperini’s side remain in the bottom three, while Genoa move above Fiorentina, Roma and Torino, who all played yesterday.

Earlier, Chievo beat Sampdoria 2-1 in Eugenio Corini’s first match in charge of the Gialloblu to claim their first points since beating Bologna on the opening weekend of the season.

Former midfielder Corini, who replaced Domenico Di Carlo earlier in the week, saw French striker Cyril Thereau give his side the lead in first-half stoppage time after a clinical counter-attacking move.

However, Enzo Maresca, who joined Sampdoria from Spanish outfit Malaga over the summer, hauled the visitors level on 61 minutes when he curled in a sumptuous free-kick from 25m.

However, with a draw apparently on the cards, a goalkeeping blunder from Sergio Romero three minutes from time gifted Chievo all three points, the Argentine letting David Di Michele’s innocuous long-range effort slip through his fingers.

Corini was quick to praise his side’s industrious display after seeing his Chievo reign start on a positive note.

“This victory was very important for lifting the morale of the players. For me, we deserved it, for our performance and the will and aggressiveness shown on the pitch,” he said.

Meanwhile Corini’s counterpart, Ciro Ferrara, bemoaned Sampdoria’s sluggish showing as the reason for their second successive defeat, opting to deflect the blame away from his erring goalkeeper.

“We had a very slow rhythm, we didn’t play our normal game. Before his final mistake, which can happen, Romero had played a good match,” he said.

The win for Chievo propels them out of the relegation zone to 16th, while Sampdoria remain fifth, six points behind off the pace set by Juventus and Napoli.