Pasalic-Gosens, Atalanta Don’t Stop! 2-0 to Napoli

Atalanta extended their winning streak to seven games and maintained their perfect record after the post-pandemic restart as they defeated Napoli 2-0 at the Gewiss Stadium. Goals by Mario Pasalic and Robins Gosens consolidated Gian Piero Gasperini’s fourth place in the table with a comfortable view on the Champions League.

The Nerazzurri stunned Napoli with a one-two in the initial 10 minutes after the break, following a colorless first half which ended in a nil-nil stalemate.

Gian Piero Gasperini’s choices for his front-line were Mario Pasalic and Alejandro Gomez behind Duvan Zapata. Napoli lined up with Matteo Politano, Dries Mertens, and Lorenzo Insigne.

Not much happened in the first 10 minutes which saw Napoli attacking more than their Nerazzurri opponents. The first half-chance of the match was for defender Kalidou Koulibaly, but the Senegalese’s header gave little trouble to Pierluigi Gollini.

Immediately after, a sudden sharp shot by El Papu Gomez was denied by Napoli’s David Ospina. In the 23rd minute, Nikola Maksimovic cut down Duvan Zapata and, from the subsequent free-kick, Gomez tested again Ospina’s skills. Napoli’s keeper however suffered a cut to his head in the process and had to be replaced by Alex Meret.

Pierluigi Gollini’s only work in the first half came in the form of a diving header to stop a counterattack by Lorenzo Insigne. Duvan Zapata’s header in the 40th minute hit his teammate Rafael Toloi turning him in an impromptu defender for the Neapolitans. All in all, a disappointing first half for a game featuring two of the most entertaining Italian sides this season.

Just one minute after the restart, however, Gomez served a great ball to Mario Pasalic who flipped it in the far corner to give Atalanta the lead. Robin Gosens then made it two for the home side at the end of a beautiful team effort. The Bergamaschi were merciless in taking advantage of Napoli’s slow start after the half time break. Like great teams do.

All they had to do then was controlling the game, as the Partenopei never managed to pose any serious threat despite Gennaro Gattuso’s whirlwind of substitutions. The Napoli coach replaced his offensive trio in full as he sent in Arkadiusz Milik, Hirving Lozano, and then José Callejon.

Lozano was the most active of the three as the Mexican swiftly challenged Gollini, but Atalanta’s keeper stopped him. Napoli’s most dangerous weapon, however, continued to be Koulibaly: His header in the 75th minute missed the target again.

Arkadiusz Milik was denied a goal on grounds of offside and his fellow countryman Piotr Zielinski’s last challenge in the 92nd minute was easily saved by Atalanta’s goalkeeper.

Napoli came to a halt after five wins in a row and saw their chances of grabbing a Champions League spot getting dimmer. That spot will most likely be for Atalanta, even more after tonight.


July 2, 2020 – Serie A 2019-2020 Round 29

SCORERS: 47′ Pasalic, 58′ Gosens

ATALANTA (3-4-2-1): Gollini; Toloi (89′ Sutalo), Caldara (72′ Palomino), Djimsiti (81′ Hateboer); Castagne, De Roon, Freuler, Gosens; Gomez, Pasalic (89′ Tameze); Zapata (Rossi, Sportiello, Bellanova, Czyborra, Da Riva, Ilicic, Colley, Muriel) Coach: Gasperini
NAPOLI (4-3-3): Ospina (30′ Meret); Di Lorenzo, Maksimovic, Koulibaly, Mario Rui; Demme (73′ Lobotka), Ruiz, Zielinski; Politano (73′ Callejòn), Mertens (57′ Lozano), Insigne (57′ Milik) (Karnezis, Luperto, Ghoulam, Manolas, Hysaj, Elmas, Younes) Coach: Gattuso

REFEREE: Mr. Doveri from Roma
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Toloi (A), Mario Rui (N); Extra Time: 1st Half 4′, 2nd Half 4′