It was all-square in Bergamo as Atalanta had the best of the first half, then clung on after the break as Sampdoria fought back.
Just two points separated these sides going in, even though Samp have a game in hand thanks to the match with Inter being rained off. Giuseppe De Luca returned from suspension for the hosts and Luca Cigarini was back after a two-month absence, but Marko Livaja was dropped due to disciplinary reasons.
Giacomo Bonaventura’s sliding finish was charged down from point-blank range, then the midfielder nodded wide as Atalanta certainly started stronger.
Cristiano Del Grosso’s volley was blocked off from a corner, while German Denis volleyed over after another promising Bonaventura chance.
Atalanta goalkeeper Andrea Consigli was booked for an argument with Gaetano Berardi and will be suspended against Inter. Eder had penalty appeals for a tussle with Guglielmo Stendardo.
Sergio Romero did brilliantly at full stretch to fingertip a German Denis glancing header off the line. Bonaventura’s step-over down the left created a great chance for Maxi Moralez, who practically slipped up on the ball when it just needed to be prodded home.
Consigli smothered a Lorenzo De Silvestri angled drive, but Stefano Lucchini received a second yellow card against his old club to leave Atalanta with 10 men.
Mauro Icardi had a fantastic scoring opportunity, but his diving header skimmed the base of the far post as Samp went closest in the second half.
Sent off: Lucchini 80 (A)