Sampdoria may well consider axing Ciro Ferrara after falling to their sixth defeat on the bounce, as Atalanta conquered Marassi in relegation tussle.
Ferrara insisted he did not feel under pressure after five consecutive defeats, despite an altercation with a fan who urged him to resign on Friday. The Coach had to reshuffle, as Gaetano Berardi, Nicola Pozzi and Nenad Krsticic were injured with Andrea Costa, Gianni Munari and Tommaso Berni suspended after the fiery 3-2 defeat to Inter.
Atalanta were also battling relegation and Cazzola’s ban added to the injury list of Ferri, Ferreira Pinto, Ivan Radovanovic, Daniele Capelli and Giampaolo Bellini.
It took all of 90 seconds for Atalanta to take the lead at a stunned Marassi! Maxi Moralez combined with Cristian Raimondi down the right to slice the Samp defence open and the Argentine’s deflected cross was prodded in at the back post by Giacomo Bonaventura.
It was all Atalanta early on and German Denis was unlucky his angled drive cracked against the base of the upright when one-on-one with Sergio Romero.
Samp had penalty appeals on 19 minutes for a potential shirt-tug on Eder, but the referee waved play on. Enzo Maresca had a fantastic chance with his diving header that flicked a corner on to the crossbar from the tightest of angles.
Denis got the ball in the net from an Ezequiel Schelotto cross, but the officials ruled he was marginally offside. However, replays suggest Denis was behind the line of the ball, which would keep him in play, but it was a question of millimetres.
Under constant pressure, Sampdoria switched to a 4-4-2 system before the break. Atalanta should’ve been 2-0 up within four minutes of the restart, but Denis went on the counter and dribbled past Rossini only to flash his angled drive across the face of goal.
The Blucerchiati could not have equalised in a more spectacular fashion, as a corner was not dealt with and the cross deflected to 12 yards where Maresca revealed an absolutely perfect overhead bicycle-kick into the far top corner! It was a stunning strike from the veteran midfielder.
It was wide open at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, as Lorenzo De Silvestri and Luca Cigarini aimed efforts on goal, while Denis couldn’t get the final touch to a Schelotto assist.
Atalanta restored their advantage with Giuseppe De Luca’s first goal of the season. Denis sprung the offside trap down the left on Rossini and pulled across for the on-rushing Under-21 international to tap in at full stretch.
Eder’s finish on an Icardi cross was deflected out for a corner, but Consigli needed a desperate save on Icardi’s header from point-blank range and the follow-up was cleared off the line by Raimondi.
Icardi was an inspired substitution, but an unlucky one, as when Consigli parried on to his feet, the volley was cleared off the line by Guglielmo Stendardo.
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