Sampdoria pushed hard for a win, but Ebuehi’s effort proved to be the crucial decider
Empoli were looking to do one better when they welcomed Sampdoria to the Stadio Carlo Castellani. Last time out, they staged a late comeback to steal a point against Lazio. And they were looking to compound the worries of a Sampdoria side that lost their last two games.
Coach Pablo Zanetti handed Super Eagles defender Tyrone Ebuehi a starting shirt in his team. And the 27-year-old impressed.
Gli Azzurri were the better team in the first half, but they failed to score despite registering nine attempts on goal.
Nonetheless, they took the same intensity into the second half, and they were rewarded. Nigerian defender jumped highest to meet a corner from Razvan Marin, and he coolly headed the ball into the net to put Empoli in front after 55 minutes.
The former Benfica man also put up a great shift in defense. Ebuehi registered one interception, two tackles, and won three of his four duels.
Unfortunately, he had to be taken off in the 77th minute after he sustained an injury.
Sampdoria put the ball in the net in the dying embers of the game, it VAR ruled it out.
Empoli saw out the 1-0 victory. It was their first Serie A win for the year. Ebuehi’s goal was his first of the season, and it makes him the third Nigerian defender to score in the Serie A after Taribo West and Ola Aina as per Opta.