Atalanta Send Serie A Title Warning with 5-2 Cagliari Thrashing

Three games and three emphatic wins for Atalanta. Gian Piero Gasperini’s men are at the top of Serie A rankings and are in no mood to trifle with. They have shown their defensive frailties, but their strong goal scoring run has put them in the elite bracket alongside Manchester City and Bayern Munich.

While the Bavarians and the Citizens have yet to show the form that is expected of them, La Dea are showing no signs of letting down. Torino and Lazio were dispatched off with ease in away games in four-goal thrashings. The wrecking ball was kept for their first home fixture of the season.

Cagliari showed their defensive prowess in games against Sassuolo and Lazio but were no match for Atalanta’s attackers. The Bergamaschi had their first five-goal game at the Sardinians’ expense, who continue to suffer from last season’s hangover. The Islanders tried to give a fight but were on the back foot for the duration of the fixture.

Marko Rog committed a blunder in the opening minute to give a sign of things to follow. Robin Gosens would have rued his mistake as his pass was too fast for Luis Muriel, but it would be in the rear-view mirror soon enough.

Berat Djimsiti’s clearance started Atalanta’s buildup. Soon, the ball was in Jose Luis Palomino’s feet, who carved open the Cagliari defense to send Luis Muriel one-on-one with Alessio Cragno. The Colombian fired a low shot into the bottom left corner to give Atalanta the lead in the 7th minute.

La Dea continued to press with ambition and created chances to double their lead. Both Luis Muriel and Marten de Roon should have troubled their scorers, but it was not to be.

It was the visitors whose efficiency in front of the goal kept the tie competitive in the opening exchanges. Riccardo Sottil tried to find a teammate in Atalanta’s box, but the ball was cleared for a corner. The first attempt from Razvan Marin was cleared for another corner, but the second gave the desired result. Diego Godin out jumped his rivals for the equalizer. A debut goal for the Uruguayan for his new employers.

Cagliari’s Marko Rog – here guarded by Marteen De Roon – committed a blunder early in the game that sounded like a sinister omen of what was going to happen to his side…

It was time for Alejandro Gomez to sprinkle his magic on the Serie A affair. The pint-sized forward received the ball from Duvan Zapata at the edge of the box and drilled it in the bottom right corner to give Atalanta the lead again.

Cagliari tried, but their efforts would be in vain and Atalanta controlled the proceedings here on. Robin Gosens sent a dangerous cross into the box, which was met by Mario Pasalic at the back post. With no one paying attention to his run, the Croatian was alone and easily tapped into the goal for their third.

It would get worse for the visitors in the next couple of minutes. Jose Luis Palomino released Duvan Zapata on the left flank. The Colombian forward went on a fantastic run to reach the edge of the box before cutting inside and sending a fierce shot that hit bottom right corner to make it 4-1.

Cagliari were surely out of the game, but Eusebio Di Francesco’s side were not ready to throw in the towel yet. After Atalanta had wasted opportunities through Luis Muriel and Alejandro Gomez, Cagliari made the most of their chance. Joao Pedro met Charalambos Lykogiannis’ cross for the Isolani‘s second.

The Sardinians could have reduced the margin further, but Giovanni Simeone’s shot from inside the penalty area was wide of the target. Atalanta rallied after the opportunity, refreshing their focus to keep their grip on the encounter.

There were chances for both sides. Duvan Zapata went on another impressive run, but his shot was safely dealt with by Alessio Cragno. Matteo Tramoni had an easier opportunity for Cagliari as he was unmarked on the edge of the box, but his shot was wide of the right post.

Atalanta would put the match beyond doubt in the final nine minutes of the game. Young Sam Lammers gave a good account of his ability with a dizzying run from inside the box. His shot had no reply from Alessio Cragno for their fifth of the night.

Atalanta were not content with the 5-2, and they carved dangerous chances, but efforts of Remo Freuler and Ruslan Malinovskyi were dealt with by Cagliari. The score did not change, but it was enough to send warning bells across Serie A.

The Bergamaschi continue to outscore their rivals and are genuine title contenders. After three games, they already have scored four more goals than their nearest rivals. For Cagliari, it is a sorry reading, one that needs to be arrested by Eusebio Di Francesco before it is too late.



October 4, 2020 – Serie A 2020-2021 Round 3

SCORERS: 7′ Muriel (A), 24′ Godin (C), 28′ Gomez (A), 37′ Pasalic (A), 42′ Zapata (A), 52′ Joao Pedro (C), 80′ Lammers (A)

ATALANTA (3-4-1-2): Sportiello; Romero, Palomino (84′ Sutalo), Djimsiti; Hateboer, De Roon, Pasalic, Gosens (74′ Freuler); Gomez (64′ Malinovskyi); Muriel (74′ Mojica), Zapata (64′ Lammers) (Carnesecchi, Rossi, De Paoli, Ruggeri, Diallo) Coach: Gasperini
CAGLIARI (4-3-3): Cragno; Zappa (84′ Faragò), Walukiewicz, Godin (84′ Klavan), Lykogiannis; Nandez, Marin (65′ Tramoni), Rog; Sottil (78′ Caligara), Simeone, Joao Pedro (84′ Pavoletti (Aresti, Vicario, Tripaldelli, Pinna, Pisacane, Oliva, Carboni) Coach: Di Francesco

REFEREE: Mr. Pasqua from Tivoli
NOTES: No Yellow Cards