Luis Muriel and Stefano Okaka turned the game around for Sampdoria’s impressive 2-1 victory at Atalanta.
The Blucerchiati had lost their way recently with a series of draws and went into Bergamo missing Ezequiel Munoz, Fabrizio Cacciatore and suspended trio Eder, Roberto Soriano and Pedro Obiang. Sinisa Mihajlovic therefore unveiled a whole new trident attack with Samuel Eto’o, Luis Muriel and Stefano Okaka together. Atalanta had Giulio Migliaccio banned, joining Giuseppe Biava, Davide Zappacosta, Cristian Raimondi and Maxi Moralez on the absentee list.
Samp had won this fixture just seven times out of 43 attempts, the most recent being 1-0 in 2009-10. The Orobici were squeezed out by Juventus last week and dropped to the edge of the relegation zone.
Muriel had the first chance, stinging Marco Sportiello’s gloves, but Atalanta took the lead when a Boukary Drame cross went all the way to the back post for Guglielmo Stendardo to tap in.
Carlos Carmona’s shot was parried and Urby Emanuelson failed to make the most of the follow-up. Eto’o put an assist on a plate for Okaka, who was just a little too late getting there.
Mauricio Pinilla nodded an Emanuelson cross over the bar, while Stendardo threatened to complete a brace, his header cleared practically off the line by Alessio Romagnoli.
Sampdoria thought they had equalised on the hour mark, but Luca Cigarini performed a decisive goal-line clearance on Matias Silvestre’s header and Muriel turned the rebound inches over with an acrobatic overhead kick.
Okaka powered his way through a crowd of Atalanta jerseys only to fire not far off target, but Muriel finally got the equaliser with a splendid goal. He chested down a cross, let it bounce and smashed the half-volley from a tight angle under the bar.
Emiliano Viviano was decisive from close range on German Denis to ensure Atalanta didn’t restore their lead.
Okaka turned the situation around completely, but it was mainly thanks to the Atalanta goalkeeper. Sportiello fumbled an Eto’o strike and let it fall behind him, so Okaka pounced to make sure it crossed the line.
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