Genoa vs Sampdoria is one of 90min's 50 Greatest Derbies in the World
The Derby della Lanterna might not possess the same level of quality shown in the Derby della Madonnina, the Derby della Capitale or the Derby d'Italia, but it's still provided calcio fans with plenty of entertainment and drama over the last 70 years or so.
Indeed, for a derby that was once dubbed by Marcello Lippi as Italy's "nicest", matches can often a fiery, emotional affair, for supporters, players and coaches alike. You can find a general overview of the Derby della Lanterna here, but for now, let's get into some of the classic games Genoa and Sampdoria have contested.
Sampdoria 3-0 Genoa (1946)
Less than three months after the decision to merge Sampierdarense and Andrea Doria to create Sampdoria was made, the first ever Derby della Lanterna was contested. At the time, just one point separated I Blucerchiati and Genoa in the Serie A table, so you might be forgiven for thinking this would've been a tight affair. It was anything but.
Quite fittingly, Giuseppe Baldini (who played for both Sampdoria and Genoa during his career) opened the scoring for Sampdoria after 26 minutes, before Fabio Frugoli got Samp's second just three minutes before half-time. I Blucerchiati's Gustavo Fiorini sealed Genoa's humiliation with a goal just three minutes into the second-half.
The result wouldn't matter much in terms of the league table, with both Genoa and Sampdoria finishing the season with 36 points each, safely away from the relegation zone but far away from the top of the table.
Sampdoria 5-1 Genoa (1948)
Four games into the 1948/49 Serie A season, Genoa found themselves in fourth place, unbeaten in the league. Sampdoria, on the other hand, had won just one of their four opening games. So such a drubbing, inflicted by I Blucerchiati onto I Rossoblu, would have been unexpected.
It wasn't a great start for Genoa, who went a goal down after just five minutes courtesy of a Jose Curti strike. 12 minutes later they conceded again, with Baldini (who had now scored four goals in five derbies for Sampdoria) scoring. I Rossoblu got a goal back in the 37th minute through Gino Corradini, but it would prove to be merely a consolation goal.
In the space of two minutes, Sampdoria scored twice, through Adriano Bassetto and Leto Prunecchi respectively. Curti sealed his brace in the 63rd minute to secure an emphatic 5-1 victory for I Blucerchiati.
Sampdoria's win, to this day, remains the highest margin of victory in the derbies' history, and the game itself is still the Derby della Lanterna's highest scoring.
Sampdoria 1-2 Genoa (1990)
In November 1990, Sampdoria were sitting at the top of the Serie A table and were unbeaten in their opening nine games of the season. Genoa, on the other hand, were experiencing their second season back in the top-flight after five years in Serie B, and had won just one game all season. In addition to this, I Rossoblu hadn't won a derby match since 1978.
So it would've been surprising when Genoa's Stefano Eranio put his side into the lead after 27 minutes. That's how it remained until the 49th minute, when Gianluca Vialli scored a penalty for Sampdoria. It wasn't to be for I Blucerchiati though, and their unbeaten start was ended by a spectacular Branco strike in the 74th minute, sealing I Rossoblu's first derby win in over a decade.
Christmas cards depicting Branco's strike would subsequently be produced by Genoa fans to give to Sampdoria fans, to rub their unexpected victory in the rivals' faces. The loss ultimately didn't matter for I Blucerchiati, however, as they won their first (and to date, only) Scudetto at the end of the season.
Sampdoria 4-1 Genoa (1992)
This Derby della Lanterna was the first for Sampdoria since they reached the final of the European Cup in 1992, where they lost 1-0 to Barcelona. They had failed to meet expectations during the 1992/93 Serie A season, however, and sat in eighth place - below Genoa who, just the previous season, had finished one place above the relegation zone.
With that, it was time to show who the better Genovese side really was. Within just three minutes, Sampdoria were 1-0 up, thanks to an Andrea Fortunato own goal. Marco Lanna doubled I Blucerchiati's lead in the 38th minute with a header, putting Sven-Goran Eriksson's side in pole position to win the derby.
At the beginning of the second-half, Genoa fans elected to throw what looked like toilet paper towards Sampdoria goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca, causing the game to be suspended for ten minutes. I Rossoblu's Michele Padovano gave his side a fighting chance with a goal in the 77th minute, but it wasn't to be, with I Blucerchiati scoring two within the last three minutes to put the game beyond doubt.
Genoa 3-1 Sampdoria (2009)
Prior to this fixture, Genoa hadn't won two derbies in a season since 1964-65. Who better to end that drought than Diego Milito, who scored for fun during his two spells with I Rossoblu and would later score both of Inter's goals in their 2-0 win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final.
Milito opened his account for the day after scoring a tap-in in the 30th minute, before Sampdoria's Hugo Campagnaro equalised just before half-time. This didn't deter Genoa, however, with Milito securing his brace in the 73rd minute and then going on to get his hat-trick in stoppage time, ensuring a solid win for I Rossoblu.
The Argentine's hat-trick was the first in the history of derby, thereby etching his name into Derby della Lanterna folklore. The 2008/09 season would end in a successful manner for Genoa, who finished in the Europa League spots, just missing out on a Champions League place.