The city of Genoa is known for a massive stone tower that sits near the port. A landmark fortification and now a museum with medieval origins, the Lighthouse of Genoa or Lanterna di Genova is one of the main symbols of the city.

Navigating through the rough seas of Serie A has certainly been a rocky experience for both Genovese clubs this season. Both Genoa and Sampdoria sit near the bottom of the Serie A table with barely 5 wins between them after 15 rounds.

Consequently this version of the Derby della Lanterna took on extra significance for both clubs. With the teams now at serious risk of relegation to Serie B a win was more than welcome.

Genoa vs. UC Sampdoria

Stadio Luigi Ferreris, Genoa

Saturday 14th December 2019

Italian Serie A

Genoa started the current Serie A season quite well.

A draw against AS Roma and then a home win over Fiorentina left most Genoa fans with a huge sense of optimism before September had even began.

Then a serious of defeats rocked the club including a 5-1 defeat to Parma and then a 4-0 loss to Lazio at the Stadio Olympico. It was 26th October before the club won another game and by that time a new manager was in place.

Sampdoria’s start to the 2019-20 Serie A season was nowhere near as positive as that of Genoa.

The club started the season with three consecutive defeats these came against Lazio, Sassuolo and Napoli. A 1-0 win over Torino got Sampdoria back on track before another three consecutive defeats to Fiorentina, Inter and Verona.

This left the club with only 3 points and staring blankly at the harsh realities of relegation.

Things then improved slightly with wins over SPAL and Udinese.

Then the form went off a cliff completely after trips to Sardinia saw Sampdoria suffer consecutive league and Coppa Italia defeats.

The Beginnings

Just after the ceasing of World War II two different clubs were competing in Italian football.

One, Society Andrea Doria, were named after the ancient 16th century ruler of the Independent Republic of Genoa. Another, Sampierdarense, were the lesser of the two sides.

A decision was made to create UC Sampdoria on the 12th August 1946.

To symbolically illustrate the merger both clubs are represented in the unique club kit we know Sampdoria for today.

This shirt features the blue shirts of Andrea Doria and the white, red and black midsection of Sampierdarenese.

The club also share the Stadio Luigo Ferraris.

Genoa were founded on 7 September 1893 as the Genoa Cricket & Athletic Club.

In its earliest years, the club principally competed in athletics and cricket with football only a minor sporting arm.

On 10 April 1897 the footballing section (already in existence since 1893) became the predominant sporting part of the club thanks to an Englishman called Spensley.

This made Genoa one of the oldest competing in Italian football.

For centuries Genoa’s lanterna’ (the lighthouse) has guided ships into the harbor of the city. This season Sampdoria are guided by Claudio Ranieri the veteran Italian coach.

Sampdoria had actually finished the previous season under the leadership of Marco Giampaolo but in June 2019 he moved to be manager with AC Milan.

In his place Sampdoria appointed Eusebio Di Francesco as the new coach but on 7th October 2019 – with Sampdoria in last place in Serie A table and having suffered 6 losses in 7 league games – he left the club by mutual consent.

At Genoa recent seasons have been equally turbulent.

On December 7th 2018 Cesare Prandelli was appointed as the new Genoa manager but his contract was terminated during the close season. To replace Prandelli, Genoa appointed Aurelio Andreazzoli but he was sacked during October with the team in second last place.

The current managerial incumbant is Thiago Motta a Brazilan born Italian international. His first official match in charge saw Genoa achieve a 3–1 home win over Brescia Calcio.

However things have been far from easy and Motto had been coming under severe pressure as derby day approached.

If both Genoa clubs share anything it is the commonality of the presence of the flag of Genoa, a St George’s Cross, on the playing shirt.

As both teams emerged into the arena there was a crackling atmosphere.

Genoa coach Thiago Motta has mentioned before the game that he felt the best side would win on the night; such comments coming largely in response to those questioning his future as Genoa manager.

It was a former Southampton player Manolo Gabbiadini who placed another nail in Motta’s managerial career at Genoa. The left footed front man got the only goal of the game after 85 minutes; one of only two shots on target during a cagey 90 minutes.

This was a complicated and scrappy encounter easy to tag as a ‘typically Italian fixture’ given the amount of fouls (43) that occurred during the game.

Crucially key Genoa man Goran Pandev had been suspended alongside other key players Zapata and Kouame. Sampdoria meanwhile had had to make do without Jankto, Bereszynski, Barreto, Bertolacci and Federico Bonazzoli.

The winning goal had came against the run of play. Genoa had no sooner blasted a free kick over the bar when Biraschi made a loose and wayward pass which was intercepted by Linetty.

He then travelled into space down the left towards the Sampdoria end and, approaching the box he rolled it to substitute Gabbiadini.

His quick left-foot shot into the near bottom corner flew past the goalkeeper’s right hand.

The celebrations after the final whistle were wild both from the players and the Sampdoria fans.

Indeed such were the scenes of rejoice they went on a full 15 minutes after the final whistle at the Sud end of the ground; shirts being thrown into fans by players and songs wildly blasted out.

In the morning newspaper La Gazzetta Dello Sport called it ‘Il derby perso negli ultimi 5 minuti’ (The derby lost in the last 5 minutes). Concluding that Genoa had lost similar fixtures this season in a short 5 minute period of play.

With this win Sampdoria lifted themselves up the table out of distance of the three relegation places but still in a far from comfortable position.

Genoa meanwhile slipped into the relegation zone with the appointment of Motta as coach being questioned on an almost daily basis.

Sampdoria fans simply did not care.

Genoa vs. Sampdoria 0-1 FT

Goalscorers: 85 mins (Gabbiadini)

Genoa: Radu; Biraschi, Romero, Criscito (Cleonise 88); Ghiglione, Schone (Jagiello 65), Radovanovic, Cassata, Pajac (Ankersen 65); Sanabria, Pinamonti

Sampdoria: Audero; Thorsby, Ferrari, Colley, Murru, Depaoli, Ekdal (Murillo 45), Vieira, Linetty, Ramirez (Gabbiadini 75), Quagliarella (Caprari 75).

Ref: Doveri (Tuscany)