Genoa Overcome Lecce 2-1 In Key Relegation Battle

Genoa took a big step towards remaining in Serie A on Sunday as they beat direct contender Lecce 2-1 at the Luigi Ferraris Stadium. Davide Nicola’s Rossoblu thus increased their lead over the Giallorossi to four points with just four games to go.

The Grifoni stroke first after just eight minutes with Toni Sanabria, who caught a suggestion by Goran Pandev, facilitated by a deflection of Lecce’s defense, to put the ball past Giallorossi goalkeeper Gabriel.

Fabio Liverani’s visitors had to attack to attempt a comeback, but their first chance only came in the 39th minute with a shot poorly missed by Diego Farias from a suggestion by Riccardo Saponara.

A few minutes later, the former Milan and Fiorentina midfielder provided an even better service to Gianluca Lapadula, whose shot was cleared on the goal line by Cristian Romero. Romero’s deflection, however, bounced on Domenico Criscito’s arm, prompting referee Daniele Doveri to award a penalty to Lecce after checking the VAR.

But Marco Mancosu – once a ruthless penalty-taker – missed his second conversion in a row as he lifted the ball into the stands of the Luigi Ferraris just like he had done against Lazio two weeks earlier.

Mancosu redeemed in the himself after the break with a cross that surprised the Genoa defense and ended its run past Mattia Perin to draw level for Lecce.

The Giallorossi didn’t seem to have luck on their side, however, as Nicola’s side put their heads ahead again in the 81st minute when Filip Jagiello’s shot hit the post and bounced on Lecce’s goalkeeper to end in the back of the net.

Lecce’s final assault was vain as Genoa managed to preserve their 2-1 lead, grabbing the three points at the end of a nervous and tense game which featured little action and few scoring chances.

Sunday’s win gave the Rossoblu a comfortable advantage and a boost of confidence in the battle to escape the drop zone, but there’s still much that can happen with four games to go – as Lecce seem to have a slightly easier calendar ahead.

Lecce will face almost relegated Brescia on Wednesday and then three clubs – Bologna, Udinese, and Parma – who will all likely have nothing more to ask to this season.

Genoa, on the other hand, must still meet Sampdoria in the Derby della Lanterna (a derby is always a derby…), then Inter, Sassuolo, and Verona – all three still potentially battling to gain an European spot next season and even, in the Nerazzurri’s case, the Scudetto.         



July 19, 2020 – Serie A 2019-2020 Round 34

SCORERS: 8′ Sanabria (G), 60’ Mancosu (L), 81′ Gabriel (L, o.g.)

GENOA (4-3-2-1): Perin; Romero, Zapata, Masiello, Criscito; Schone, Sturaro (14′ Barreca, 90′ Goldaniga), Lerager; Falque (54′ Jagiello), Pandev (90′ Favilli); Sanabria (46′ Pinamonti (Ichazo, Marchetti, Biraschi, Ghiglione, Destro, Ankersen, Soumaoro) Coach: Nicola
LECCE (4-3-1-2): Gabriel; Donati, Lucioni, Paz, Dell’Orco; Barak, Petriccione (83′ Falco), Mancosu; Saponara; Farias, Babacar (31′ Lapadula) (Vigorito, Sava, Vera, Shakhov, Monterisi, Meccariello, Rispoli, Maselli, Majer, Tachtsidis) Coach: Liverani

REFEREE: Mr. Doveri from Roma
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Lerager, Romero (G), Petriccione, Saponara, Lucioni (L); Extra Time: 5′, 2nd Half 5′