A free header from Lorenzo Tonelli proved decisive, as Sampdoria put Atalanta back into crisis with victory in Bergamo.
This was a head-to-head for European places, as the hosts opted for Mario Pasalic in the trequartista role rather than Emiliano Rigoni, while Duvan Zapata faced his former club. Riccardo Saponara and Vasco Regini didn’t make the trip.
Duvan Zapata hit the side-netting from a tight angle and at the other end Pierluigi Gollini fingertipped a Joachim Andersen header round the upright.
Hans Hateboer got on the end of a Remo Freuler cross to the back stick, but couldn’t steer it on target as he came sliding in. The hosts lost Andrea Masiello to injury after just 24 minutes, as he limped off for Gianluca Mancini.
Atalanta were unlucky not to go into the break 1-0 up, as first Duvan Zapata’s header from a Papu Gomez corner thumped the frame of the goal, then Gomez hit the near post from a tight angle.
Pasalic flashed a dangerous effort across the face of goal, Gomez unable to get the final touch, then Nicola Murru made a decisive block by flinging himself in the path of Duvan Zapata’s shot on a Josip Ilicic assist.
Gaston Ramirez came off the bench to sting Gollini’s gloves and Duvan Zapata went off injured.
Instead, Sampdoria broke the deadlock on 76 minutes, as terrible marking allowed Lorenzo Tonelli a free header on a Gaston Ramirez corner.
Atalanta tried everything, but were short on energy and inspiration.
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