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Quagliarella’s penalty not enough as Atalanta win at the Marassi


Quagliarella’s penalty not enough as Atalanta win at the Marassi

Sampdoria’s European dreams took a blow today as rivals in the league table Atalanta inflicted defeat on Marco Giampaolo’s team at the Marassi.

In a pulsating match that ebbed and flowed, Atalanta’s strength and power prevailed against the Blucerchiati, who looked a touch off the pace.

Wearing the colours of founder club Sampierdarenese as a tribute to its 120th birthday, Samp conceded the initiative early on to Atalanta, who had two promising chances in the opening ten minutes.

It took until just before half-time for Doria to properly threaten, speculative long-range efforts and pot shots aside. Some superb work from Jacopo Sala down the right lead to a squared pass to Karol Linetty, who drew a fine save from an impressive Pierluigi Gollini.

Marco Giampaolo was forced into an early change in additional time of the first half, as Riccardo Saponara pulled up and had to be replaced by Gaston Ramiez, on his return from injury.

Although Sampdoria came out for the second with more impetus, Atalanta constantly posed a threat on the counter. Efforts from Josip Ilicic and Robin Gosens, who hit the post, preceded the first goal of the afternoon in the 50th minute.

The ball was played into Duvan Zapata, who held off his marker well and shot past Emil Audero, although there was a stroke of luck thrown in as he slightly mishit the connection under pressure from Joachim Andersen.

Going behind in such a crucial game injected some life into the hosts, who responded swiftly with chances from Sala and Manolo Gabbiadini.

As Papu Gomez and Ramirez both chased after an errant ball in the 65th minute, the Argentine hauled down the Uruguayan in the penalty area, prompting referee Michael Fabbri to point to the spot.

The decision was met with furious disagreement from Atalanta’s bench and head coach Gianpiero Gasperini was sent from the field of play, crossing the pitch to make his exit amid a chorus of jeers.

Despite the chaos around him, Fabio Quagliarella stayed calm throughout the lengthy wait, which included a check from VAR, and then hammered an unstoppable shot into the back of the net, restoring parity for Doria and putting himself once again at the top of the Serie A scoring charts on 20 goals.

At this point, the contest began to resemble a typical Premier League affair: Serie A-style tactics and shape thrown out of the window as both teams took turns to lay siege to the other’s goal.

Audero looked to have kept Samp in the match in the 76th minute with a fantastic full-stretch diving save to kept out Mario Pasalic’s downwards header. Sadly, there was nothing he could do a minute later, when Gosens found the net from the tightest of angles.

Giampaolo’s players kept persevering but they lacked some of their usual effervescence and quality. That said, Gollini was required to pull off a save of the highest class to tip Albin Ekdal’s header around the post.

Despite the introduction of Gregoire Defrel late on to bolster the attack, Samp couldn’t find a way through and ended up losing to Atalanta. We now sit in ninth place on 39 points, five points behind Atalanta in seventh.

Sampdoria 1-2 Atalanta (HT: 0-0)

Scorers: Zapata 50, Quagliarella (p) 68, Gosens 77.

Sampdoria (4-3-1-2): Audero; Sala (Bereszynski, 59), Andersen, Colley, Murru; Praet, Ekdal, Linetty (Defrel, 84); Saponara (Ramírez, 45+1); Gabbiadini, Quagliarella.
Subs not used: Rafael, Belec, Vieira, Jankto, Sau, Tavares, Ferrari, Tonelli.
Coach: Giampaolo.

Atalanta (3-4-1-2): Gollini; Mancini, Djimsiti, Masiello; Hateboer, De Roon, Freuler, Gosens (Palomino, 90+3); Gomez (Pasalic, 73); Ilicic (Castagne, 87), D. Zapata.
Subs not used: E. Berisha, F. Rossi, Reca, Pessina, Ibañez, Colpani, Barrow.
Coach: Gasperini.

Referee: Michael Fabbri.
Assistants: Damiano Di Iorio, Fabrizio Posado.
Fourth official: Livio Marinelli.
VAR: Gianluca Rocchi.
VAR assistant: Mauro Tonolini.

Yellow cards: Murru 54, Ramirez 90+3, Zapata 90+5, Freuler 90+6.

Additional time: 1+6 minutes.

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