Serie A - Giaccherini double helps Cesena to victory
Emanuele Giaccherini’s quick-fire double helped Cesena climb out of the relegation zone with only their second away victory of the season after securing a remarkable 3-2 win over Sampdoria at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.
Marco Parolo’s long-distance screamer gave Cesena the lead before Giaccherini struck twice in two minutes to seemingly wrap up the three points.
But Francesco Antonioli’s mistake allowed Massimo Volta to pull one back before Massimo Maccarone’s stoppage time penalty made for a nervy finish – only for Cesena to hang on for all three points.
Sampdoria finished fourth in Serie A last season but went into the game languishing in 14th, four places above Cesena, promoted from Serie B and facing a hard-fought relegation battle in their first season back in the top-flight for 19 years.
And while the hosts created the first opening, with Jonathan Biabiany latching onto a long pass and nipping round Antonioli, who recovered well to smother the ball, Cesena soon took the game to their hosts.
Emanuele Giaccherini twice wasted good opportunities with the ball at his feet on the right flank, first delivering a poor cross to the back post, before failing to find a team-mate or test Gianluca Curci with his cross-cum-shot.
Sampdoria should have taken the lead when a quick throw-in allowed Maccarone to trick his way to the byline, before cutting back – only for Biabiany to fire over from close range.
Parolo looked to shoot from distance with five minutes of the first half remaining, but saw his shot blocked by the referee – although there was no stopping his effort three minutes later.
The 26-year-old was first to a loose knock-down and unleashed a superb 25-yard effort into the top corner for his third goal of the season.
And Cesena doubled their lead less than 60 seconds into the second half when Giaccherini back-pedalled to meet a deep cross before firing a superb volley into the far corner.
Sampdoria's day turned from bad to worse when, straight from the restart, Daniele Gastaldello tried to control the ball on his chest but Giaccherini stole it off him before beating Curci for his second goal in as many minutes.
That left Sampdoria shell-shocked but, despite long spells of possession, the home side showed none of the passion or creativity needed to inspire an unlikely comeback.
And it took a goalkeeping howler for Sampdoria to first get on the score sheet. Maccarone hit his 25-yard free-kick straight at Antoniolo but the Cesena keeper decided to pat the ball down, only to lose it under his body, allowing Volta to poke home.
That gave Sampdoria seven minutes to fight back but it continued to look unlikely until Volta was pulled down in the box, leaving Maccarone to slot home the penalty, halfway through two added minutes.
But there was not enough time for Sampdoria to rescue a point, allowing Cesena to leapfrog Lecce and rise to 17th in Serie A.