September’s international break failed to interrupt the flow of high-flying Atalanta as La Dea edged out Fiorentina 1-0 on Sunday. Gian Piero Gasperini’s side claimed their third identical 1-0 triumph of the season to keep up with fellow Serie A pacesetters Napoli.
Atalanta headed into the international break as one of only two Serie A sides to have gone unbeaten in the opening seven matchdays (W5, D2). Despite fearing a two-week hiatus could do harm to their illustrious start to the season, Gasperini’s side played down the skepticism with another stubborn performance.
Following a scoreless first half, Atalanta flew out of the traps after the restart, creating several decent goalscoring opportunities. The hosts’ intense pressure paid the dividends on the stroke of the hour mark as Luis Muriel’s low cross found unmarked Ademola Lookman inside the six-yard box.
Since taking the lead, Atalanta opted to defend and wait for their chances on the break. One such opportunity saw Joakim Maehle find himself one-on-one with Fiorentina goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano, but the Dane failed to convert. Though La Dea struggled for more clear-cut chances, Vincenzo Italiano’s side did next to nothing to restore parity.
A match-winning showing from Lookman kept Atalanta tied on points with top-placed Napoli as the Englishman looked back at the game with enthusiasm. The quicksilver was on the scoresheet in his side’s 2-0 beating of Sampdoria on the opening weekend. But he scored his first Serie A goal at the Gewiss Stadium today and refused to hide his delight.
“It was a beautiful win, a great performance and we believed in it until the end. I’m happy for my first goal in front of our fans, I’ve been waiting for it for a long time,” he said, as relayed by TuttoAtalanta. “I just want to see from match to match where we can go, I haven’t set myself any goals, I want to get as far as possible with Atalanta.”