Maxi Moralez’s first goal in over a year and some stunning goalkeeping gave Atalanta their first ever Serie A victory away to Chievo.
This was an early relegation six-pointer and the Flying Donkeys were coming off two consecutive defeats, whereas the Orobici had clambered out of their crisis by beating Udinese 2-0 last weekend. Davide Brivio stepped in for the injured Cristiano Del Grosso, while Dario Dainelli missed out for the hosts and Under-21 international Riccardo Improta started.
Atalanta had never won here in Serie A, earning four draws from eight visits. Alberto Paloschi had the first chance five minutes in, nodding just over from a corner.
Carlos Carmona nutmegged a defender to cross for Giacomo Bonaventura, but Gennaro Sardo was decisive to take it off his head. From the resulting corner, another Guglielmo Stendardo header was charged down off Improta’s chest in the six-yard box.
Paloschi should’ve scored when a corner ricocheted into his path, but blasted over from 10 yards.
It was Atalanta who broke the deadlock with a sensational Maxi Moralez volley at the back post from six yards. He was kept onside by slack defending when a long cross was knocked down in the box for his first goal since September 2012.
Cyril Thereau couldn’t keep his finish on target from a promising position, then Marcelo Estigarribia scuffed a shot on to the side-netting from six yards, as his weaker foot let him down when clear on goal.
Sardo’s volleyed cross-shot hit Paloschi in the chest, but he was offside anyway when trying to turn in from point-blank range.
On the stroke of half-time, Andrea Consigli did well to get down and palm a viciously swerving Estigarribia effort round the base of the upright. Chievo needed something special to get back into this game, as they were the only side yet to score in the second half this season.
Thereau sprinted into the box and the referee considered Giampaolo Bellini’s sliding tackle to be fair, but if he did make contact with the ball then it was absolutely minimal. Atalanta dodged a bullet with that decision.
Christian Puggioni flew to fingertip a long-range Cristian Raimondi strike that was dipping under the bar, then from the corner the goalkeeper again parried Moralez at the near post. The move continued and Bonaventura slipped when rolling the ball across for three Atalanta players, so Puggioni was able to smother on the six-yard line.
Puggioni was extremely lucky that a deflection on Luca Cigarini’s angled drive slowed the ball down enough for him to reach back and claw it off the line.
A Sardo overhead kick was impressive, but over the bar. Chievo changed to a 4-2-3-1 system and then lost Alessandro Bernardini to a suspected dislocated shoulder after he fell awkwardly.
Sergio Pellissier had the chance to draw level, but only scuffed his finish from close range. Pellissier did get his header on target from four yards, but this time he found a sensational Consigli reaction save to tip it on to the crossbar at the 85th minute. It was an extraordinary parry and he had to lean back mid-air to claw it away.
Chievo thought they'd scored at the death, but a deflection off Lucchini took Luca Rigoni's volley on to the side-netting and from the resulting corner a header flashed across the face of goal.