Sampdoria 1-0 Inter Milan:
An Eder wonder goal in the second half was all that was needed for Sampdoria to pick up three big points in its push for a European spot. The Genoa-based side rose to the occasion against ex-player and current Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini to move to fourth place in the league while Inter slumped further down the table.
These teams have had drastically different seasons. While Sampdoria has exceeded expectations in the league, Inter has struggled to pick up any form. Sampdoria shocked the league this season by challenging for European places. The club bolstered its squad during the winter transfer window by signing ex-Inter forward Samuel Eto and ex-Udinese forward Luis Muriel, two big names that have certainly made their mark. Despite losing young starlet Manuolo Gabbiadini during the winter transfer window, the club managed to improve its frontline and the overall quality of the team. In contrast, Inter is a club that is currently in panic mode. The Nerazzurri have lost six straight games in all competitions under coach Roberto Mancini. The ex-Inter coach was hired midway through the season after the club fired former Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri for poor results. Despite adding players such as Podolski and Shaqiri, the Milan-based club has failed to move above mid-table and is now a total of 30 points off of league leaders Juventus.
While both teams had plenty of chances throughout the game, the first and only goal came in the second half. Sampdoria midfielder Eder, who was recently called up by Antonio Conte to the Italian National Team, scored a long range goal off of a set-piece play on a freekick. The Brazilian born player hit a rocket off of a set play that left goalkeeper Handanovic with no chance. His goal was enough to see I Bluecherati secure all three points on the night.
Udinese 2-2 Fiorentina:
Fiorentina dropped points against Udinese despite two goals from ex-Bayern forward Mario Gomez. Gomez equalized and then granted Fiorentina the lead only to lose it. Udinese managed to equalize late through midfielder Panagiotis Kone and snatched a point from the match, slowing down Fiorentina in its push for a Champions League spot.
Fiorentina has had a strong season despite the loss of forward Giuseppe Rossi. The team was revitalized in the winter transfer window with the addition of ex-Chelsea forward Mohamed Salah as the Egyptian forward went off to a scorching start in Serie A, scoring multple goals against sides such as Juventus and Roma. Salah has been a hit in Florence and has led the team in its push for the Europa League title this season. Meanwhile, Udinese looks to remain in mid-table with 10 games left in the season. The Udine-based club has regressed over the past few years due to the increasing age of its captain Antonio Di Natale. Despite making multiple European competition appearances in the past five years, the team has failed to make it anywhere near European spots this season.
The home side opened the scoring through defender Molla Wague who tapped in a point-blank range shot to give his side the lead. Fiorentina managed to respond in the second half when German forward Mario Gomez headed in an equalizer off of a free kick from Josip Ilicic. Gomez added to his tally later in the second half through a shot from the penalty spot. Ilicic once again provided for Gomez who made no mistake in putting the ball into the back of the net. Udinese then equalized late in the second half when Di Natale set-up Kone for an easy tap in at the back post with no Fiorentina defenders around. Despite more chances for both sides, the match finished in a draw.