A Niklas Moisander own-goal and a late German Denis strike gave Atalanta a deserved win over Sampdoria.
It was defence versus attack, as while Sampdoria had scored 11 goals in their five games so far, last season’s strugglers Atalanta had conceded just four, the joint-best record in Serie A.
The Orobici took the lead in bizarre circumstances with just six minutes played. Boukary Dramé sent a low cross into the box, and Niklas Mosander’s wild attempted clearance spun behind him and into his own net.
The ball may have bobbled before reaching the Finnish international, but with a bit more composure it would have been easily cleared.
Eder nearly equalised immediately, but Marco Sportiello came out quickly to block his low shot after Luis Muriel’s pass.
Alejandro Gomez’s fantastic solo run almost brought a second goal for the hosts on 26 minutes, but his right-foot shot went just wide of Emiliano Viviano’s far post.
Mauricio Pinilla was forced off with injury just after the half-hour mark, German Denis replacing him.
Sampdoria were struggling to get into the game, with Atalanta continually causing problems for the visitors down the flanks, but the sides went in level at half-time.
The Blucerchiati showed no immediate improvement after the break, with Atalanta’s Maxi Moralez working space for himself on the edge of the box, before firing over.
With 57 minutes played, Marten De Roon sent a snapshot wide of the post with Viviano beaten. Viviano did well to save from German Denis 10 minutes later.
On 70 minutes, a cleverly-worked free-kick resulted in Toloi heading just over the Sampdoria bar.
Sportiello was finally called into action up the other end moments later, and produced a stunning save to deny Soriano, tipping his fierce effort over the bar.
Antonio Cassano had been introduced immediately prior to Soriano’s chance, and the forward appeared to inspire his side, who began press forward with intent.
However, that resolute defence on which Atalanta have built their early season form held out, and German Denis put the result beyond doubt in stoppage time.
After combining with Moralez on the edge of the box, the ball was played back in to the striker, and he calmly stroked the ball into the net to seal all three points.
Samp did eventually breach the Orobici defence, Roberto Soriano scoring with literally the last kick of the game, sweeping home a Barreto cut-back.
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