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Pazzini hits the spot for Sampdoria

UC Sampdoria 1-0 Debreceni VSC
Giampaolo Pazzini scored the only goal from the penalty spot as UC Sampdoria won for the first time in Group I.

Sampdoria celebrate Giampaolo Pazzini's goal
Sampdoria celebrate Giampaolo Pazzini's goal ©Getty Images

Giampaolo Pazzini's first-half penalty proved the difference as UC Sampdoria won for the first time in UEFA Europa League Group I to hand Debreceni VSC a second second successive defeat.

Pazzini stepped up after being fouled in the area to turn in the only goal on 18 minutes as the Italian side built on their opening-day draw at PSV Eindhoven. After losing 5-0 at home to FC Metalist Kharkiv in their first match Debrecen might have feared the worst, but they did not buckle and created a number of chances after the break without making one count.

It was not until the 18th minute that the game sprang to life, when Pazzini was hauled down by Zsolt Laczkó. The Italy striker took the penalty himself and sent goalkeeper Mindaugas Malinauskas the wrong way to score his third goal in European competition this season.

Chances were few and Debrecen's best effort of the half did not come until a minute before the break when Gianluca Curci tipped away Péter Czvitkovics's low strike. The Sampdoria goalkeeper was called into action again two minutes after the restart, gathering Yannick Mbengono's shot from a tight angle at the second attempt.

Pazzini then had a pair of chances in quick succession at the other end, but was unable to hit the target, first sending a header over then narrowly failing to get on the end of Antonio Cassano's low cross. Cassano himself came close on 64 minutes but Malinauskas did well to block his snap shot.

Sampdoria were not having things all their own way and Zoltán Kiss flashed a shot narrowly wide before Curci palmed away Czvitkovics's shot after being teed up by Mbengono on 70 minutes. Sampdoria, though, made sure one goal was enough.