Gasperini-Less Atalanta Cavalry Reigns Supreme at Sampdoria

Gian Piero Gasperini’s men continued their impressive in Serie A in their bid for UEFA Champions League qualifying slots. Even though they were missing their coach – who was serving a one-match ban – they scored in both halves courtesy of Ruslan Malinovskyi and Robin Gosens to hand Sampdoria their second successive defeat against a top-six rival.

Both sides started aggressively and it was the Bergamaschi outfit who carved the first real opportunity. Luis Muriel fashioned a shot from the edge of the box but Emil Audero made a comfortable diving stop to deny the Colombian.

Claudio Ranieri’s men came out to take their chances and put Atalanta on the back foot. They would test Marco Sportiello with Jakub Jankto and Mikkel Damsgaard. The Sampdoria man latched on to a pass on the edge of the box but his effort to the bottom left corner was not enough to get past the goalkeeper. Sportiello was again on hand with a diving save to deny Damsgaard’s top corner bound effort.

All of this happened in the initial exchanges and there was further controversy before the quarter-hour was up. Mario Pasalic went down in the box, but referee Livio Marinelli waved away the appeals from Atalanta players.

Both sides canceled out each other before Atalanta managed to get past Audero’s defenses in the 40th-minute mark. Luis Muriel continued to show his creative side following a link-up with Ruslan Malinovskyi. The Ukrainian was given a clear sight on the goal and he did not disappoint with his effort. The ball sailed into the top left corner to finally give the scorers work to do.

The second half continued in the same fashion as the first. The first impact was made by the Sampdoria players. Valerio Verre made the first attempt after the break, but his effort sailed wide of the left post. A couple of minutes later, Damsgaard tried his luck from a free-kick but again his shot was inches wide.

Akin to the first half, there was controversy in the opening exchanges of the second period. Joakim Maehle blazed a shot into the back of the net. Audero had no chance to save it but Atalanta had to put their celebrations on hold. The goal was under review and the VAR interference came to Sampdoria’s aid.

Atalanta players continued to pressure the Sampdoria defense and the next chance fell to Robin Gosens. The marauding defender came close with his effort on goal but Audero produced an excellent save to deny him. The German would not be denied with his next effort, meeting a cross and firing the ball into the top left corner to make it 2-0.

In the dying moments of the game, the visitors came close with Matteo Pessina but Audero again pulled off a save. The score would not change and Atalanta would take the three points home.

The win allowed La Dea to creep into top-four. They have a two-point advantage over Roma, who take on the challenge of Milan at home. Atalanta will now turn their attention towards the Champions League, where they look to overcome their 0-1 disadvantage at the Santiago Bernabeu.



February 28, 2021 – Serie A 2020-2021 Round 24


SAMPDORIA (4-4-1-1): Audero; Bereszynski, Yoshida, A. Ferrari, Augello; Damsgaard (67’ Candreva), Thorsby, Ekdal, Jankto (67’ Ramirez); Verre (59’ Keita); La Gumina (59’ Quagliarella) (Letica, Ravaglia, Tonelli, Colley, Regini, Leris, Askildsen, Gabbiadini) Coach: Ranieri
ATALANTA (3-4-1-2): Gollini; Toloi, Romero, Palomino; Maehle, De Roon, Freuler, Gosens; Pasalic (58’ Pessina), Malinovskyi (82’ Miranchuk); Muriel (58’ Ilicic) (Gollini, Rossi, Caldara, Ruggeri, Ghislandi, Kovalenko) Coach: Gritti (replacing Gasperini)

REFEREE: Mr. Marinelli from Tivoli
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Ekdal (S), Freuler, Toloi, De Roon (A)