Genoa beat SPAL to leave Serie A drop zone

Genoa have recorded a vital win over SPAL in their bid to avoid relegation from Italy's Serie A.
Genoa have recorded a vital win over SPAL in their bid to avoid relegation from Italy's Serie A.

Genoa have boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation with a 2-0 win over last-placed SPAL in Italy's Serie A.

Goran Pandev and Lasse Schone scored in each half and Genoa also had a penalty saved on Sunday.

It was Genoa's first win since the restart and lifted the team out of the relegation zone.

Genoa is one point above Lecce which hit the woodwork twice in a 0-0 draw at Cagliari.

SPAL is 11 points from safety with six matches remaining.

Later on Sunday, Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso faces AC Milan as an opponent for the first time.

The match in Genoa was played at a sluggish pace, with temperatures topping 30C .

Pandev fired Genoa in front in the 24th minute and the hosts had a great chance to double their lead 13 minutes later but Iago Falque had his weak penalty saved by SPAL goalkeeper Karlo Letica after Arkadiusz Reca tripped Francesco Cassata.

Genoa did get a second shortly after halftime when Schone curled a magnificent free kick into the top corner.

Federico Bonazzoli scored a spectacular goal six minutes from time to help Sampdoria to a vital 3-1 win at fellow strugglers Udinese.

Bonazzoli acrobatically volleyed in Samp's second goal with a scissor-kick.

Bram Nuytinck thought he had equalised moments later but it was ruled out for handball.

Samp moved level on points with Udinese, six points above Lecce.

Davide Faraoni also scored in similarly impressive fashion to help Hellas Verona draw 1-1 at Fiorentina, which levelled with practically the last kick of the match.

Parma scored two stoppage-time goals to fight back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 against Bologna.

Australian Associated Press