Joakim Maehle and a wonderful Ademola Lookman solo effort allowed Atalanta to sweep past sorry Sampdoria and continue their march up the table.
La Dea were on a roll after 16 goals in their last three competitive games, including a 3-3 thriller with Juventus, and preparing for Tuesday’s Coppa Italia quarter-final against Inter. Teun Koopmeiners returned from suspension, with Jose Luis Palomino and Davide Zappacosta injured. The Blucerchiati were still in the drop zone, as Abdelhamid Sabiri and Omar Colley joined Ignacio Pussetto, Manuel De Luca and Andrea Conti on the treatment table. Sam Lammers started against his parent club.
Samp had the first chance, as Juan Musso got down for a desperate double save on Manolo Gabbiadini from a tight angle and the Tommaso Augello follow-up.
Hans Hateboer came sliding in at the far post to turn a Jeremie Boga cross over from point-blank range, then Harry Winks made a decisive block on Ademola Lookman from six yards out.
Lammers had a half-volley charged down and Medhi Leris acrobatically fired the rebound over, while Rasmus Hojlund twisted and turned to stun defenders and get a shot away from 12 yards, stinging Emil Audero’s gloves, with Lookman unable to redirect the rebound.
Hojlund again tested Audero from a tight angle and Atalanta broke through on the stroke of half-time after a long period of pressure. Lookman’s header on a Boga cross had bounced off the upright, it was put back to the far stick by Hateboer for another header from Joakim Maehle.
Lookman scored a wonderful solo effort for 2-0, as he gathered in midfield, nutmegged Nicola Murru and sold Bram Nuytinck a dummy before blasting the angled drive across Audero into the far bottom corner.
Atalanta were in complete control and Hojlund tested Audero from a seemingly impossible angle, although Leris almost scored with a strangely looping header that came off his shoulder in stoppages.
Debutant Malagrida had the ball in the net on his Serie A debut, but it was disallowed as Fabio Quagliarella was offside on the initial strike.
Atalanta 2-0 Sampdoria
Maehle 42 (A), Lookman 58 (A)