Atalanta Back to Winning Ways in Serie A Without Gomez and Ilicic

Gian Piero Gasperini resurrected Atalanta’s dwindling Serie A fortunes with a tactful 3-0 win over Fiorentina. La Dea bossed the game from start to finish, all without the service of Alejandro Gomez.

For the second year in a row, Atalanta secured progress to the UEFA Champions League from their final group game. They returned their attention to Italian top-flight, adding woes to Fiorentina’s 2020-21 league campaign. The first-half saw both sides make claims to taking the three points on offer.

Duvan Zapata should have given the hosts the lead in the first ten minutes, but Bartlomiej Dragowski denied his rebound header. The next big chance came to Dusan Vlahovic after the Fiorentina unleashed a shot towards the goal. However, Pierluigi Gollini was alert to the task and saved it.

Both sides were on a stalemate going into the final minutes of the first period. But Atalanta had other plans. Zapata dribbled past the Fiorentina defense before squaring the ball into the area. Robin Gosens got on the other end of the pass and buried it into the back of the net to give his side the lead in 44th minute.

Fiorentina’s plans of getting back into the game received a jolt in the opening ten minutes of the second half. Nikola Milenkovic brought down Zapata, leaving the referee Maurizio Mariani no choice but to award a free-kick. Ruslan Malinovsky stepped up to take it, targeting the left post. Dragowski was rooted to his position and was never in contention to stop it.

Malinovsky was in the thick of things again eight minutes later. The Ukrainian crossed in from the corner, which was met by Berat Djimsiti and sent in towards the goal. It found its way to Rafael Toloi, who did not miss from six-yards.

Three goals up, Atalanta were cruising with less than half-hour to play. The game statistics revealed La Dea had ten shots on target to Fiorentina’s one. The Viola saw their presence in the game increase, but it did not come to fruition. Cesare Prandelli’s men gained momentum with improved possession numbers but failed to create meaningful opportunities, even with Franck Ribery’s trickery on show.

When the referee blew for full-time, it was a deserved result for both sides. Prandelli will return to the drawing board and seek ways to get his time out of their creative hole. The Viola have the third-worst goalscoring record in Serie A and need to improve before they get embroiled in a bitter relegation battle.

Meanwhile, Gasperini will be pleased with his side’s efforts. They end their three-game winless run in Serie A with style. That sets up La Dea for success in the upcoming congested fixture list as they take on Juventus and Roma in succession before finishing the year with a trip to Bologna.

The win will calm the supporters but added fuel to rumors of discontent in Bergamo. Alejandro Gomez and Josip Ilicic are rumored to be protagonists of a dressing room revolt against Gasperini. The duo were rooted to the bench in the home win, and their absence has not dispatched rumblings.  



December 13, 2020 – Serie A 2020-21 Round 11

SCORERS: 44′ Gosens, 55′ Malinovskyi, 63′ Toloi

ATALANTA (3-4-2-1): Gollini; Toloi, Romero (74′ Palomino), Djimsiti; Hateboer, De Roon, Freuler, Gosens (81′ Mojica); Pessina, Malinovskyi (74′ Muriel); Zapata (81′ Lammers) (Rossi, Sportiello, Sutalo, Gomez, Piccini, De Paoli, Gyabuaa, Diallo) Coach: Gasperini
FIORENTINA (4-4-2): Dragowski; Venuti, Milenkovic, Pezzella, Biraghi (73′ Barreca); Pulgar (46′ Castrovilli), Amrabat, Bonaventura, Lirola (58′ Callejon); Eysseric (58′ Ribery), Vlahovic (26′ Kouamé) (Terracciano, Martinez Quarta, Borja Valero, Saponara, Caceres, Cutrone, Igor) Coach: Prandelli

REFEREE: Mr. Mariani from Aprilia
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Romero (A), Amrabat, Ribery (F); Extra Time: 1st Half 1′, 2nd Half 3′