Two second-half goals from Ola Toivonen rubber-stamped PSV Eindhoven's progress from UEFA Europa League Group I, ending the hopes of UC Sampdoria in the process.
Giampaolo Pazzini struck for the fifth time in three matches for the hosts when he arced a header into the top corner seconds before half-time. The lead was short-lived, however, as the unmarked Toivonen headed in Ibrahim Afellay's centre six minutes after the restart and fired in a loose ball in added time, moments after Sampdoria's Guido Marilungo had been dismissed.
Goals have been hard to come by for Sampdoria of late − only Pazzini has now scored in eight matches since the end of October − yet they almost bucked that trend early on when Marilungo, running on to Pazzini's flick, rattled the outside of the post.
PSV responded with Toivonen missing his kick following Afellay's low, right-wing cross before the hosts lost centre-back Stefano Lucchini to a leg injury. That did little to disrupt a rearguard whose main concern in the first half was that of Balázs Dzsudzsák down the left, and they struck first when the in-form Pazzini stooped to head in Reto Ziegler's left-wing delivery.
With PSV's status atop the group potentially in jeopardy, the Eredivisie leaders upped the tempo, levelling when Toivonen, all alone at the far post, headed past Gianluca Curci. Massimo Volta then spurned a glorious chance to restore the Blucerchiati's lead, somehow glancing Ziegler's corner wide from all of a couple of metres out.
Dzsudzsák was the next to threaten with a free-kick which Curci did well to beat out. Despite Sampdoria needing a goal to prolong their campaign, it was PSV who continued to look the more menacing, and after Marilungo picked up a second yellow card a minute from time, Toivonen was on hand to sweep in the winner late on.