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Scarpi heroics deny valiant Slavia

SK Slavia Praha 0-0 Genoa CFC
A superb goalkeeping display by Alessio Scarpi secured Genoa a vital Group B point while confirming Slavia's exit from the competition.

Slavia's Matej Krajčík (left) competes with the Sergio Floccari of visiting Genoa
Slavia's Matej Krajčík (left) competes with the Sergio Floccari of visiting Genoa ©Getty Images

Alessio Scarpi produced a superb goalkeeping display to earn a 0-0 draw for Genoa CFC and end SK Slavia Praha's hopes of reaching the round of 32 in this season's UEFA Europa League.

Genoa decider
Slavia created chances and had two goals disallowed, but they found the experienced Scarpi in inspired form. The 36-year-old's performance means third-placed Genoa will go through if they beat Valencia CF in Italy on Matchday 6, but Slavia are out after failing to secure the victory they needed to stay in contention.

Slavia superiority
Slavia could have taken the lead in the fourth minute when Genoa defender Salvatore Bocchetti did just enough to scramble clear Stanislav Vlček's goalbound shot. At the other end, Hernán Crespo's angled drive was pushed away by Slavia keeper Deniss Romanovs, and the Rossoblù survived yet another scare when Vlček tapped the ball in from close range, only to see his strike ruled out for offside.

Scarpi unbreached
One minute before half-time, Scarpi made a fine save to deny Adam Hloušek, but the veteran could only watch with relief when Vlček put the rebound too high. Slavia continued to look the likelier scorers after half-time. In the 57th minute, Peter Grajciar finally beat Scarpi with a fine free-kick only to see it hit the bar, before the goalkeeper rescued his side once more, producing another smart stop after Vlček had volleyed Matej Krajčík's pass towards goal.

Koreš denied
Scarpi kept out a point-blank effort from substitute Štěpán Koreš as the clock ticked down, and managed to keep his clean sheet intact when Hloušek's injury-time strike was chalked off for a foul on the keeper by Marek Suchý.