Serie A | Lecce 1-2 Salernitana: Granata revitalised

Salernitana end their disastrous run of form with a 2-1 win at the Stadio Via del Mare, thanks to early Boulaye Dia and Tonny Vilhena goals, but it’s a second straight defeat for Lecce.

The Salentini had been unbeaten in six until a surprise loss to Verona and here welcomed back Samuel Umtiti, though Kastriot Dermaku and Marin Pongracic were still out of action. The pressure was on the visitors after two points from seven games, with Federico Fazio, Giulio Maggiore, Norbert Gyomber and Pasquale Mazzocchi injured, so William Troost-Ekong was thrown straight into the starting XI after his move from Watford.

It took just five minutes to break the deadlock and it was Salernitana who went in front, as the defender knocked it back away from Antonio Candreva, but only at the feet of Boualaye Dia, who thumped it first time from outside the box into the near bottom corner.

Junior Sambia then spotted Wladimiro Falcone off his line and attempted a cheeky lob from a huge distance, the goalkeeper having to run back and fingertip it over the bar.

Lecce failed to make the most of a Lars Bohinen error and Umtiti nodded a corner wide, but Salernitana were more clinical after a midfield fumble. Dia’s through ball was initially for Candreva, who got out of the way so Tonny Vilhena could sweep home from 12 yards.

The hosts did get straight back into the game, as Giuseppe Pezzella pulled back from the left for Gabriel Strefezza, whose first touch wasn’t great, but he made up for it with his determination to prod the second past the on-rushing goalkeeper.

Only a Sambia goal-line clearance prevented Lecce equalising on Lorenzo Colombo’s effort at the 32nd minute, then Guillermo Ochoa parried from Alexis Blin with Colombo firing the rebound over.

After the restart, Dia almost scored by mistake when a Krzysztof Piatek shot ricocheted off his knee onto the upright, but was probably offside anyway.

Federico Di Francesco should’ve done better with a free header straight at Ochoa, while Candreva’s viciously dipping strike from distance skimmed the crossbar.

A long-range Sambia free kick also tested Falcone and Di Francesco drilled just wide, as Salernitana held on for their first win since October 30.

Lecce 1-2 Salernitana

Dia 5 (S), Vilhena 20 (S), Strefezza 23 (L)