There were a couple of head-to-head matches in secondary positions of the table and one of them, Sampdoria vs Atalanta, turned out to be quite entertaining.
The Blucerchiati approached the match riding a two-game winning streak, as their victories over Cagliari and SPAL had allowed them to re-enter the Europa League race. Atalanta had bounced back last week against Fiorentina from two straight losses that had made them lose their advantage over the other contenders.
Marco Giampaolo mostly confirmed his usual XI and picked Jacopo Sala over Bartosz Bereszynski, while Gaston Ramirez and Lorenzo Tonelli were able to make the bench. With Rafael Toloi sidelined, Gian Piero Gasperini picked Gianluca Mancini and Andrea Masiello to sandwich Berat Djimsiti in the back, while Robin Gosens and Hans Hateboer were selected over Timothy Castagne this time. Pierluigi Gollini has snatched the starting job away from Etrit Berisha.
The first half was rather dull, as the Goddess mostly controlled the pace and the ball, but never revving up and therefore did not create any tasty scoring opportunities.
However, the bout heated up in the second half and the Orobici got the lead almost right away, when the ex-Doriano Duvan Zapata was fed on the edge of the box by Josip Ilicic, perfectly shielded the ball and beat Emil Audero with a scuffed shot basically while he was being tackled.
The Blucerchiati reacted and managed to tie at the 67th minute, when Alejandro Gomez committed a silly foul on Ramirez, who had come in for the injured Riccardo Saponara, while trying to chase a ball in the box. Fabio Quagliarella once again converted for his 20th goal of the season. He is now the solitary pichichi. Gian Piero Gasperini vehemently argued the call, got sent off and pushed a Sampdoria executive while entering the tunnel towards the locker room, which will cost him few games.
However, the Nerazzurri were not to be denied in this contest, resumed charging and found an amazing goal with Robin Gosens, who volleyed it home on a feed from the base line despite having no angle whatsoever. The home team tried to respond but to no avail.
Atalanta kept up with Torino and so they keep sharing the sixth spot and earned some ground over Lazio, while Sampdoria dropped to five points behind the rivals. In the fantasy game, the goal scorers Quagliarella and Gosens corralled four points, Zapata was docked one because of a yellow card, while Ilicic snared two for the assist.
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