2014-15 Italian Serie A

Sampdoria suffer surprise draw with Cesena but move up to fourth

Ambitious Sampdoria were held to an unlikely goalless draw by Cesena on Saturday but used the point to take a share of fourth place in the Serie A table.

The Genoa club dominated their relegation-threatened opponents from start to finish but found goalkeeper Federico Agliardi an immovable object when their radar was not malfunctioning.

Samp are now level on Napoli with 50 points while 18th-placed Cesena are six points shy of Atalanta and safety with seven games still to play.

Europa League-chasing Samp started brightly at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris and Agliardi did well to repel Angelo Palombo's rocket from 25 yards early on.

Samuel Eto'o came knocking, with Agliardi saving his shot only for Luis Muriel to rasp the rebound over the bar from a good position.

The Blucerchiati kept pouring forward and after Stefano Okaka's attempt took a deflection off Massimo Volta, Eder shot wide of the far post.

Cesena bit back on the half-hour mark with Alejandro Rodriguez forcing Emiliano Viviano into a punched clearance, but it was the only move they would muster before the break.

Lorenzo De Silvestri missed the mark with a header nine minutes after the restart and Eto'o soon saw his speculative drive from distance bounce to safety off Stefano Lucchini's back.

Samp had a clear-cut opportunity in the 76th minute, Lucchini scrambling the ball off the line after Alessio Romagnoli nodded it goalwards from a corner.

With time ticking away the frustrated hosts looked to press home their advantage and De Silvestri missed the mark by only centimetres after controlling an Eto'o pass on his chest before unleashing a powerful angled strike.

There was a minute left on the clock when Eto'o freed up Okaka, who took a touch inside Djamel Mesbah only to see his final finish palmed away by Agliardi.