An early Hernanes counter-attack proved enough to give Lazio a precious 1-0 victory away to Atalanta.
Vladimir Petkovic made his Serie A debut on the Lazio bench following a difficult summer full of disappointing results. The Biancocelesti had picked up confidence with Thursday’s Europa League play-off win at Mura 05, but missed the injured Ederson, Marius Stankevicius, Stefan Radu, Luciano Zauri and Cristian Brocchi.
Atalanta start the season from -2 points due to the betting scandal, but it’s still an improvement on last year’s six-point penalty. Gugliglemo Stendardo was suspended against his former club, while Daniele Capelli, Guido Marilungo, Ivan Radovanovic, Ferreira Pinto and Carlos Carmona were on the treatment table.
Atalanta had a great chance in the opening three minutes, as Davide Brivio’s header from a corner hit the far post, then Federico Peluso turned the rebound on to the bar after he had been flagged offside. The home team got off to a very aggressive start, pinning Lazio back and Maxi Moralez stung Federico Marchetti’s palms from a tight angle.
However, it was Lazio who scored against the run of play with a classic counter-attack. Miroslav Klose and Stefano Mauri combined for Hernanes to eventually bundle over the line from close range.
Mauri’s strike bounced off a stunned Andrea Consigli’s chest, while the Maxi Moralez free kick was palmed over the bar.
An Alejandro Gonzalez volley shaved the crossbar after the restart, as the Biancocelesti threatened a second goal and Klose should’ve done better on the volley.
Australian James Troisi made his Atalanta debut for Ezequiel Schelotto and immediately tested the goalkeeper from point-blank range, while Marchetti beat a dangerous loose ball off the feet of German Denis.