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Sampdoria find no way past Metalist

UC Sampdoria 0-0 FC Metalist Kharkiv
Daniele Gastaldello hit the bar and Papa Gueye twice cleared off his goal line as the Ukrainian side stood their ground in Genoa.

Papa Gueye denied Sampdoria late on in Genoa
Papa Gueye denied Sampdoria late on in Genoa ©FC Metalist Kharkiv

UC Sampdoria hit the bar and had two cleared off the line as FC Metalist Kharkiv held on at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris to remain second in UEFA Europa League Group I.

Both sides started the game at high tempo with chances coming at either end. Guido Marilungo and Nicola Pozzi, replacing Antonio Cassano and Giampaolo Pazzini in the Blucerchiati attack, combined well to create the first for the home side after seven minutes, but the latter lost his footing with only Vladimir Dišljenković to beat and missed the target. Ten minutes later, Metalist went close when Milan Obradović failed to turn in a dangerous Cleiton Xavier cross. The ball ended up with Denys Oliynyk, who fired wide.

Sampdoria raised the pressure after the half-hour mark and went close twice in the space of a minute. First, Papa Gueye came to Dišljenković's rescue, heading Stefano Guberti's volley over the bar following an Andrea Poli cross. From the resulting corner, Daniele Gastaldello hit the bar with a powerful header with Cristian Villagra stopping the loose ball from crossing the line. Just ahead of the interval it was Obradović who denied Sampdoria, blocking a close-range Gastaldello shot following another corner.

The tempo was much slower in the second half and Metalist managed to keep a tighter rein on Sampdoria's attacks despite the introduction of Pazzini. The Italy striker had a low shot saved by Dišljenković five minutes from time, and Daniele Dessena almost made the critical breakthrough a minute later, but Senegalese defender Gueye was once more on hand to get in the way on the line of his point-blank header.

The point leaves Sampdoria five behind leaders PSV Eindhoven ahead of their meeting in Genoa on 1 December, when Metalist take on eliminated Debreceni VSC.