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Ten-man Metalist account for Sampdoria

FC Metalist Kharkiv 2-1 UC Sampdoria
The second-half dismissal of goalscorer Taison failed to prevent the Ukrainian club from climbing into second place in Group I.

Cleiton Xavier wheels away in celebration after scoring the winning goal
Cleiton Xavier wheels away in celebration after scoring the winning goal ©FC Metalist Kharkiv

Cleiton Xavier scored the winner with a spectacular overhead kick as ten-man FC Metalist Kharkiv again proved the scourge of UEFA Europa League Group I rivals UC Sampdoria.

Metalist, who knocked the Serie A club out of the 2008/09 UEFA Cup at the round of 32 stage, fell behind to Vladimir Koman's composed finish on 32 minutes. Taison levelled from long range soon after but soured an impressive performance when he was dismissed for tangling with Massimo Volta 11 minutes after the restart. Undeterred, Metalist continued to look the more likely scorers and Xavier's strike means they leapfrog their opponents into second, a point behind PSV Eindhoven.

Vitalie Bordian came to Metalist's rescue after four minutes, clearing off the line after Reto Ziegler's corner struck Daniele Dessena's back. Play quickly switched to the other end, where Gianluca Curci thwarted Taison, before the striker was denied a shot at goal by Volta's last-ditch block.

The Blucerchiati gradually got a foothold and, after a quick throw-in gave Antonio Cassano the chance to fire at Vladimir Dišljenković, they took the lead, Koman running on to Nicola Pozzi's flick and rounding the goalkeeper. Their advantage lasted all of six minutes, however, as Taison was allowed to advance and unleashed a dipping effort which whistled past Curci.

If Sampdoria were on the ropes after Taison's equaliser, they almost regained the lead when Pozzi, stretching to reach Cassano's low cross, diverted the ball wide. Taison was soon to fore again, running on to Marko Dević's reverse pass and testing Curci. That was his last significant act before his evening was cut short when he reacted to a Volta foul.

Metalist continued to pose a threat despite their numerical disadvantage and edged in front when Xavier acrobatically met Edmar's chip from the byline 17 minutes from time.

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