Sampdoria 1-1 Torino: A Point Apiece In A Bruising Encounter

TURIN, ITALY - JULY 21: Nicola Pozzi of UC Sampdoria reacts during the pre-season friendly match between UC Sampdoria and Savona FBC on July 21, 2012 in Bardonecchia near Turin, Italy. (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

Two second half penalties secured both sides a point in a feisty affair at a rain-soaked Marassi. Rolando Bianchi struck first for the visitors on 69 minutes, before substitute Nicola Pozzi got the hosts back on level terms six minutes from the end.

A loss would have been harsh on the home side, who struck the bar and had a goal disallowed, but Torino stopper Jean-Francois Gillet was on fine form, stopping Sampdoria with a string of saves.

Sampdoria made three changes from last week's win at Pescara. Sergio Romero took over the gloves from Tommaso Berni, while Gianni Munari and Nenad Krsticic replaced injured pair Andrea Poli and Eder. The latter was fit enough to be a substitute. Matteo Brighi was still suffering the effects of a back injury and had to make do with a place on the Torino bench.

Torino pressed from the start and Alessio Cerci volleyed their first chance wide. Gillet had to dive to gather Marcelo Estigarribia's inviting low cross before Krsticic could get a foot on it.

Maxi Lopez spurned the first clear-cut chance on 19 minutes. The on-loan Catania man picked Kamil Glik's pocket from a routine throw-in, and ran into the box, but fired an angled shot straight at Gillet who did well to stand his ground.

With tackles flying in, the game boiled over on 35 minutes after Riccardo Meggiorini pole axed Estigarribia and was rightfully cautioned. From the resulting free kick, Enzo Maresca curled his shot against the bar. Maxi tapped in a rebound, but the Argentine was rightfully ruled offside.

Just before the break, Estigarribia pounced on a Matteo Darmian miscue, but the ball wouldn't sit up and an awkward bounce resulted in a tame shot at Gillet.

On the stroke of half time, a pinpoint Maresca cross found Daniele Gastaldello in the box. The Sampdoria captain connected with a perfect left footed shot, but Gillet was equal to it and pulled off a fine stop.

The rain came down in the second half. Romero gathered Darmian's deflected cross, while Cerci tried to fashion a chance, but shot over from 25 yards out. Maxi was booked for a studs-up challenge on Gillet. Roberto Soriano replaced Pedro Obiang after the Spaniard was shaken up from a coming together with Giuseppe Vives.

Torino broke the deadlock after 69 minutes. Cerci sprung from out wide, skipping past one challenge, before being bundled over by Soriano. Rolando Bianchi stepped up to smash the resulting spot kick over Romero and underneath the crossbar to give the Granata the lead. The Torino captain had been largely ineffective up until this point and was soon replaced by Alessandro Sgrigna.

Sampdoria threw Nicola Pozzi and Eder on for Munari and Estigarribia, while Torino introduced Brighi and Alen Stevanovic. Eder made an instant impact in winning his side a penalty. Maxi slipped the ball in for the Brazilian, who was brought down by Glik. The Polish defender got none of the ball leaving Giampiero Ventura livid from the touchline. Pozzi stepped up and saw his shot squeeze under Gillet, who had guessed the right way.

As time ticked away, Gillet had to save from his own centre half Angelo Ogbonna, while Soriano chipped a chance over in stoppage time, when it was perhaps easier to roll the ball to Maxi. Gillet rescued Torino once more at the death pushing Eder's long range effort over.

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