28.10.2014 19:25 - in: Serie A S

    Genoa’s start to Serie A

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    Gian Piero Gasperini’s charges lie ninth in Serie A following a solid introduction to the campaign

    Genoa have steadily grown in confidence since falling to Napoli on the opening day of the season, recording three wins, three draws and one further defeat in the interim.

    In the mix as one of the early favourites for the Serie A title, Rafa Benitez’s men got off to an excellent start at the Marassi, seizing the lead after just three minutes through Jose Callejon.

    But Genoa were in no mood to succumb to early Partenopei pressure and pulled themselves back on level terms five minutes before the break, Mauricio Pinilla lashing home to the delight of the home supporters.

    It was to be a heartbreaking finish, though, as Jonathan De Guzman leapt off the bench to guarantee the visitors all three points with a winner five minutes into added time.

    A useful point in a goalless draw away at Fiorentina then followed, with Genoa escaping unscathed after playing out the final 18 minutes with ten men following the dismissal of Facundo Roncaglia.

    The hosts dominated proceedings and upped the pressure towards the end of the encounter but were unable to find a way past an inspired Mattia Perin, who pulled off a string of saves to clinch an impressive clean sheet.

    After seeing a substitute come on to deny them a result with a late strike in their home debut, the tables turned for Genoa when Lazio came to town, with Pinilla pouncing on 87 minutes to claim the hosts’ first three points of the season.

    A second win in as many games looked to be very much in the offing when Alessandro Matri shot the Grifone into a two-goal lead away at Hellas Verona, only for a rousing Gialloblu fightback, led by Panagiotis Tachtsidis and Artur Ionita, to maintain the hosts’ unbeaten start to the campaign.

    Disappointment was then to follow as inter-city rivals Sampdoria claimed a 1-0 victory in the Derby della Lanterna, Marnolo Gabbiadini striking with 15 minutes remaining to earn the Blucerchiati their third win of the season.

    Yet there was plenty to smile about in their next encounter as Alessandro Matri popped up in the last minute to earn a 2-1 away victory over Parma at the Ennio Tardini.

    After seeing Diego Perotti’s opener pegged back by Andrea Coda and Roncaglia handed his marching orders for the second time this season, Genoa would have been forgiven for thinking it was not to be their day, only for Matri to prove otherwise when he capitalised on lacklustre defending before slamming home late on.

    The Grifone were widely tipped to register back-to-back victories for the first time this term when Empoli came to town after the international break, but the newly-promoted visitors proved good value for a point after cancelling out Andrea Bertolacci’s goal through Lorenzo Tonelli.  

    Instead, the three points came from last weekend’s trip to Chievo, where Gian Piero Gasperini’s men produced a second-half fightback to ruin Rolando Maran's debut in the Gialloblu dugout, Matri and Pinilla coming up with the goals that sent the visitors up to ninth in the table.

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