The two Nigerian internationals were looking to begin the new year on a scoring note but had to settle for a subdued showing
Super Eagles winger Ademola Lookman could not add to his seven league goals this season, as Spezia and Atalanta played out a thrilling 2-2 in a matchday 16 fixture of the Italian Serie A at the Stadio Alberto Picco.
Atalanta were the favourites heading into the clash, having never lost to their hosts in all the five previous meetings between the two.
But Spezia had a different idea in mind and took a two-goal lead into the halftime break courtesy of goals from Emmanuel Gyasi and M’bala Nzola.
Lookman had been Atalanta’s brightest star this campaign and the Goddess’ top scorer with seven goals. Spezia, though, were effective in keeping the former Leicester City winger quiet, and in the 57th minute, he was substituted.
However, Atalanta improved in the second half as late strikes from Rasmus Hojlund and Mario Pasalic earned the Blue-and-Blacks a share of the spoil.
Over at the Stadio Giovanni Zini, the story was not different for Super Eagles striker Cyriel Dessers and compatriot David Okereke who both fired blank in Cremonese’s nail-biting 0-1 loss to Juventus.
It was always going to be a tough task for the two Nigerian forwards against Juventus centre-back trio of Danilo, Bremer, and Federico Gatti.
But Dessers, one of the stars of 2022, had the ball at the back of the net in the 22nd minute of the encounter but the referee after consulting VAR ruled out the effort for a foul on Danilo.
Okereke was replaced in the 61st minute while Dessers followed him off the pitch 15 minutes later. Arkadiusz Milik then curled an inch-perfect free-kick into the net in stoppage time to hand Juventus all three points at stake.
Cremonese are increasingly looking in danger of getting relegated as the newly-promoted side are now seven points adrift of Spezia in the last safe spot.