Atalanta Crush Drifting Parma to Put Pressure on Juventus and Milan

Atalanta brushed aside Parma in Serie A Round 35 to retain their second place in the league table, with a nice view on the Champions League. The Nerazzurri got the job done with a comfortable 2-5 win, courtesy of goals from Matteo Messina, Ruslan Malinovskyi, Luis Muriel (twice) and Aleksei Miranchuk. 

There was realistically no other possible outcome for the match at the Stadio Tardini on Sunday afternoon. Too large was the difference in motivation between a drifting Parma side who already bid farewell to the Serie A and Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta who are still fiercely battling for a Champions League spot.

But, on top of grabbing all the three points on offer, the Nerazzurri did not refrain from going rough on the Crociati, likely to send a message to Juventus and Milan who are also in contention for a Champions League ticket and will face each other later on today.  

If truth be told, Parma did little to stop the bleeding when they received the first blows. The Gialloblu gave the impression of having dropped the ball since long and seem only to be waiting for the season to end. In such circumstances, it was easy for La Dea to cut though their defense like a knife through butter. 

Ruslan Malinovskyi scored the first for the visitors with a razor-sharp left-foot shot on 12 minutes. Atalanta could have had their second in the first half already but Duvan Zapata’s shot from point-blank range hit the post and spared Parma more blushes. For a while, at least.

After the restart, the Nerazzurri doubled their lead with Matteo Pessina and made it three when Luis Muriel finalized for the best a Mario Pasalic assist. At that point, they seemed to lose focus a bit and allowed Juan Brunetta to score his first Serie A goal from a Maxime Busi service.

Gian Piero Gasperini was furious as he didn’t want to see his boys hit the brakes. They won’t be allowed to do so in the Champions League run. And so, Luis Muriel seemed to hear his coach and quickly re-brought the gap to three goals with a fine counterattack. 

The rest of the game was mostly garbage time, with Parma scoring another one for the honor with young Simon Sohm and Aleksei Miranchuk concluding the goal fest on 93 minutes with a brutal left-foot shot.