Bologna vs Atalanta 0-1: Moustapha Cisse Makes Headlines

A dramatic 1-0 win away to mid-table Bologna has kept Atalanta in contention for a top-four finish as 18-year-old Moustapha Cisse unveiled himself to the Bergamo faithful in style. The talented youngster, who featured in amateur football until last month, scored on his first-team debut.

After failing to get on the scoresheet in three consecutive Serie A matches on hostile turf – losing two of them (D1) – Atalanta were under pressure to deliver at Renato Dall’Ara. With La Dea’s hopes of landing a fourth successive top-four finish hanging by a thread, Gian Piero Gasperini’s men had to win at Bologna at all costs.

Juventus’ 2-0 home triumph over Salernitana earlier on Sunday forced Atalanta to chase an 11-point lead, albeit with two games in hand. It’s been a while since the Gewiss outfit found themselves in such a tough spot, and with headline performer Duvan Zapata still on the sidelines, Gaspernini needed a hero.

Little did he know he would find one in a player that has not been competing on a senior level until this weekend. Gasperini’s decision to withdraw Luis Muriel midway through the second half in favour of relatively unknown Cisse may have caught even the most die-hard Atalanta fans by surprise.

Given the significance of Sunday’s match-up in Emilia-Romagna, throwing such an unexperienced player into the mix looked somewhat senseless. But less than 20 minutes into his first professional appearance, Cisse struck home from point-blank range to drag Gasperini’s side over the finishing line.

The teenage forward found himself unmarked inside Bologna’s penalty area after receiving a pinpoint pass from another second-half substitute Mario Pasalic. Cisse made no mistake in a one-on-one situation, drilling the ball into the bottom corner to fire Atalanta to a precious victory, their first in away league action since January.

Have Atalanta found another jewel after a raft of promising talents that have gone through their academy over the years? BT Sport, among others, has spotted Cisse’s unbelievable story.