Monday, Oct 03, 2022

Serie A 2021-22: Russia’s Aleksei Miranchuk Stars In Atalanta Win Over Sampdoria, Doesn’t Celebrate

Aleksei Miranchuk scored one of Atalanta’s four goals against Sampdoria in Serie A 2021-22, hours after Russia was suspended from 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Atalanta's Aleksei Miranchuk (R) after scoring against Sampdoria in Serie A 2021-22.
Atalanta's Aleksei Miranchuk (R) after scoring against Sampdoria in Serie A 2021-22. AP

Russia international Aleksei Miranchuk held his head down and didn't celebrate after scoring the final goal in Atalanta's 4-0 win over Sampdoria in Serie A 2021-22. (More Football News)

Miranchuk's goal came hours after Russia's national team was suspended from qualifying matches for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, as Moscow was pushed toward pariah status in sports for its invasion of Ukraine.

In other circumstances, Miranchuk's goal would have been worthy of quite a celebration, because it was extraordinary. He dribbled by four defenders — diverting some of them by shifting his view across the field for an instant — before scoring from the edge of the area on Monday.

Immediately after the goal, Miranchuk held his hands up to signify he wouldn't celebrate then was quickly surrounded by teammates.

Miranchuk is friendly with Ukrainian teammate Ruslan Malinovskyi, who celebrated scoring in the Europa League on Thursday against Olympiakos by lifting his jersey to show a message reading “No war in Ukraine” on his undershirt.

“These days have been tough,” Atalanta midfielder Marten de Roon said. “Ruslan is having a rough time because his family and his city are in trouble. ... But they (Malinovskyi and Miranchuk) always talk together. There is nothing but friendship between them.”

Before kickoff, Atalanta general manager Umberto Marino called the friendship between Malinovskyi and Miranchuk "an example of what things should be.” “It is a sincere friendship between two boys who represent two very similar peoples," Marino said.

Malinovskyi missed the game against Sampdoria after injuring his calf in the pre-match warmup. Ending a five-match winless streak, Atalanta revived its hopes of a top-four finish and a fourth consecutive season in the Champions League.

Atalanta moved within three points of fourth-placed Juventus — with a game in hand.

Mario Pasalic opened the scoring six minutes in with a diving header. Teun Koopmeiners then scored twice, first with an angled shot near the half-hour mark then with one touch from the center of the area midway through the second half.

Sampdoria remained four points above the drop zone in 15th place. All Serie A 2021-22 matches started five minutes late this round accompanied by a peace message due to the war in Ukraine.  


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