(Reuters) - Claudio Ranieri earned a point on his debut as Sampdoria coach with a 0-0 draw against his former employers AS Roma in Serie A on Sunday.
Last week the manager succeeded Eusebio Di Francesco for the second time this year, having replaced him to take charge of Roma until the end of 2018/19 season in March.
Ranieri, celebrating his 68th birthday, received a warm welcome from both sets of fans at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris before watching his side earn a creditable draw.
The match was short on chances but came to life in the closing stages as Roma winger Justin Kluivert was sent off for a second yellow card and Sampdoria substitute Federico Bonazzoli was denied a late winner by an excellent Pau Lopez save.
The stalemate ended a three-match losing streak for Sampdoria but they remain bottom of the table on four points, while Roma are sixth on 13.
Cagliari moved one point ahead of Roma into fifth with a 2-0 home win over SPAL thanks to goals from Radja Nainggolan and Paolo Farago either side of half-time.
Elsewhere, Stefano Okaka’s first-half header gave Udinese a 1-0 win over Torino that saw them draw level with the ninth-placed visitors on 10 points.
Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie; editing by Tony Lawrence