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Tonelli’s first for the club earns battling win against Atalanta


Tonelli’s first for the club earns battling win against Atalanta

Sampdoria have won a hard-fought encounter away to Atalanta thanks to Max Tonelli’s first goal for his new club, propelling the Blucerchiati into the top four.

Atalanta away is one of the toughest fixtures on the calendar and any team travelling to the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia know they are in for a bruising encounter, but Marco Giampaolo should be proud with how his players stood up to the test.

The hosts probably shaded the first half, as former Samp man Duvan Zapata looked in fine form, testing Emil Audero on a number of occasions and even heading onto the post in the 28th minute.

Nevertheless, the Blucerchiati stubbornly stuck to the task in a keenly-fought affair and the teams went in at half-time with the game still goalless.

Chances dried up at the start of the second half, with both defences on top. Nicola Murru and Joachim Andersen were playing particularly well, managing to quieten Atalanta’s strikers.

The deadlock was broken when Sampdoria won a corner in the 76th minute and substitute Gaston Ramirez swung over the perfect delivery for Max Tonelli to rise and head home, his first goal for the club since joining in the summer.

As Atalanta tried to find a way back into the contest, Hans Hateboer had a header that missed the target before Murru did well to slide and block a dangerous-looking cross from the Dane.

Doria were frustrating their opponents, shutting down any promising opportunity, and it showed when Josip Ilicic’s temper boiled over and he received a yellow card for a heavy challenge on Dennis Praet.

Deep into injury time, however, there was still time for a final moment of drama in the match. Rafael Toloi surely would have thought he’d rescued a late point for his side when he fired a powerful shot on goal, but Audero showed all his reflexes to dive and parry the ball that was heading for the corner.

Come the final whistle, the celebrations were all Blucerchiati as Sampdoria come away from Bergamo with three points that lift the club onto 14 so far and fourth in the league. With a defence that has only conceded four goals in eight matches and a great mixture of guile, power and experience up front, they will take some shifting.

Atalanta 0-1 Sampdoria (HT: 0-0)
Scorer: Tonelli 76.

Atalanta (3-4-1-2): Gollini; Toloi, Palomino, Masiello (Mancini, 24); Hateboer, De Roon, Freuler, Castagne; Pasalic (Ilicic, 57); A. Gómez, Zapata (Barrow, 66).
Subs not used: Berisha, F. Rossi, Valzania, Gosens,Djimsiti, Tumminello, Pessina, E. Rigoni, Adnan.
Coach: Gasperini.

Sampdoria (4-3-1-2): Audero; Bereszynski, Tonelli, Andersen, Murru; Praet, Ekdal, Linetty (Barreto, 84); Caprari (Ramírez, 60); Defrel (Kownacki, 86), Quagliarella.
Subs not used: Rafael, Belec, Vieira, Sala, Jankto, Colley, Tavares, Ferrari, Rolando.
Coach: Giampaolo.

Referee: Massimiliano Irrati.
Assistants: Ciro Carbone and Alessandro Lo Cicero.
Fourth official: Marco Serra.
VAR: Michael Fabbri.
VAR assistant: Alessandro Giallatini.

Yellow cards: Andersen 31, De Roon 45, Praet 50, Linetty 78, Ilicic 89, Bereszynski 90+1.

Additional time: 1+4 minutes.

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