Parma vs Sampdoria, final score 2-0: Parma stay in contention for Europe

Marco Luzzani

Parma kept their European hopes alive with a 2-0 victory over Sampdoria at the Ennio Tardini.

Antonio Cassano and Ezequiel Schelotto got the goals which gave Roberto Donadoni's side its first victory in four games. The result keeps Parma in the mix for a place in next season's Europa League.

There was a minute's applause before kickoff for former Sampdoria coach Vujadin Boskov, who passed away last week. The 82-year-old led the Blucerchiati to the Scudetto in 1991 and to the European Cup final a year later.

Parma welcomed Gabriel Paletta back from a one game ban, but Felipe began a suspension after punching Cagliari's Luca Rossettini last weekend. Pavol Bajza deputised between the sticks for the injured Antonio Mirante, while Cassano faced his former club. Sampdoria were without the injury victim Pedro Obiang and the suspended Shkodran Mustafi. Vincenzo Fiorillo was again preferred over Junior Da Costa in goal.

Sampdoria controlled the early possession, but fell behind when Parma went on the counter attack on eight minutes. Jonathan Biabiany was given license to run and punished the visitors for their slack marking. The Frenchman ran more than half the length of the pitch unchallenged, cut inside the box and his pass missed Marco Parolo, but was turned in by Cassano. It was Fant'Antonio's first strike in almost two months and the striker didn't celebrate out of respect.

Parma should have added to their lead minutes later. Afriyie Acquah blasted a shot too close to Fiorillo, before Daniele Gastaldello cleared a corner off the line and Amauri was a bit too casual with the rebound, allowing Fiorillo to smother a weak effort.

Samp suffered a blow when Roberto Soriano went off injured at 28 minutes. The visitors eventually forced themselves back into the game. Bajza was alert to run out and smother on a few occasions, then tipped a Manolo Gabbiadini effort wide. Later, Gabbiadini struck the outside of the post with a free kick and Stefano Okaka headed wide from a corner.

Parma were denied a penalty in first half stoppage time. Cassano's cross hit Vasco Regini's arm, but the referee deemed that it wasn't deliberate. Right on half time, Cassano floated in a free kick and Amauri flicked a weak header straight into Fiorillo's gloves.

The home side maintained control throughout most of the second half. Gastaldello missed a crucial challenge on Biabiany, allowing the winger to send an angled drive just inches past the far post. Christian Molinaro then burst forward and put too much pace on a pull back which missed everyone running in.

Schelotto controlled Biabiany's header and volleyed against the post from just two yards on 73 minutes. The substitute's blushes were somewhat spared when an offside flag went up. Samp spurned a chance to level when Nenad Krsticic sent a half volley over from 12 yards.

In the closing stages, Walter Gargano lifted a free kick over the bar and Cassano was given a round of applause by both sets of supporters when he was substituted

Parma made sure of the result in the final minute. Molinaro collected Acquah's cut back to drill a shot at goal, which was touched into the far corner by Schelotto.

Parma: Bajza, Cassani, Lucarelli, Molinaro, Paletta, Marchionni, (Gargano 74') Parolo, Acquah, Biabiany, Cassano, (Palladino 81') Amauri (Schelotto 46')

Goals: Cassano 8', Schelotto 90'

Sampdoria: Fiorillo, Fornasier, Gastaldello, De Silvestri, Regini, Soriano, (Sansone 28') Krsticic, (Maxi Lopez 79') Palombo, Gabbiadini, Eder, (Sestu 66') Okaka

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