Genoa make strong start
Second-half goals from Alexander Merkel and Ciro Immobile gave Genoa a 2-0 opening-weekend win over Cagliari.
Last Updated: 26/08/12 10:56pm
Second-half goals from Alexander Merkel and Ciro Immobile were enough to earn Genoa a routine season-opening 2-0 win over Cagliari on Sunday.
Luigi De Canio's men were always dangerous throughout a controlled performance and had Cristobal Jorquera put away a 17th-minute penalty, they could have gone on to run up a bigger score.
As it was, though, they settled for just the two, with Merkel getting things going six minutes after the break and Immobile finishing things off with five minutes left after a pedestrian second half.
The Rossoblu knew that their chances would be few and far between at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris and, when they failed to a take a fifth-minute one through Joaquim Larrivey, they should have seen what was coming their way.
Davide Astori dragged back Branko Jankovic in the box to bring about the penalty but Jorquera hit it wide, before Cagliari let another opportunity pass them by when Mauricio Pinilla's header was saved by Sebastian Frey.
Genoa returned to the ascendancy after that and Jurai Kucka's free-kick whistled just wide while Felipe Seymour went equally close with a 25-yarder.
The inevitable was getting closer for Massimo Ficcadenti's men and the opener came in the 51st minute when Merkel prodded into an open goal following a scramble.
In total control, Genoa toyed with their visitors from there on in, enjoying long spells of possession before Immobile decided to finish the job from 25 yards, leaving Michael Agazzi with no chance.