SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 22 - 2 Feb 2014 (14.00 UK)
Atalanta 3 - 0 Napoli
Denis 47, 65 (A), Maxi Moralez 70 (A)
Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia

Napoli were crushed 3-0 by Atalanta after a series of defensive howlers allowed German Denis a brace.

Bergamo is a notoriously tough place for the Partenopei, who had won just two of their last 10 visits. They were also coming off two consecutive stalemates and missed Valon Behrami, Juan Camilo Zuniga and Giandomenico Mesto, but Jorginho settled into his new home. Atalanta were furious after a highly-controversial defeat to Torino last week. Davide Brivio and Carlos Carmona were suspended, Marko Livaja, Gianpaolo Bellini and Lionel Scaloni injured and Luca Cigarini is on the bench after suffering from flu. Rafa Benitez rested Gonzalo Higuain, Marek Hamsik and Jorginho.

Dries Mertens failed to make the most of a poor Giulio Migliaccio backpass, then Mario Yepes accidentally clashed heads with teammate Andrea Consigli as both tried to get on the end of a Mertens free kick. The goalkeeper was left with a large bandage and the defender got the worst of it, so had to be replaced.

Jose Callejon’s through ball was just past Duvan Zapata in a great scoring position, but the first half petered out visibly after a decent start.

Goran Pandev had timid penalty appeals, but went over far too easily under a challenge.

Atalanta also complained when Gokhan Inler handled in the box, but the referee considered it to be involuntary as the ball spun off his shin at an odd angle.

The Orobici took a surprise lead after a series of errors from the Partenopei. First Blerim Dzemaili gave the ball away in midfield, then Pepe Reina misjudged a powerful German Denis low drive and let it squirm under him.

Higuain replaced the anonymous Duvan Zapata and Napoli created their best chance of the game so far, as Pandev crossed for Mertens who volleyed wide at the back post.

Napoli shot themselves in the foot again, as Inler’s poor clearance fell to Denis, who fired in on the half-volley to double Atalanta’s lead.

Mertens had penalty appeals, but was only booked for simulation, as replays leave it unclear as to whether he was nudged by Consigli.

Moments later Atalanta made it 3-0 thanks to another defensive error, as Federico Fernandez slipped and allowed Maxi Moralez to drill past Reina undisturbed.

Faouzi Ghoulam made his Napoli debut just 48 hours after completing a move from Saint-Etienne, but by this stage the game was over.


Atalanta: Consigli; Benalouane, Stendardo, Yepes (Lucchini 35), Del Grosso; Raimondi, Migliaccio, Baselli (Cigarini 58), Bonaventura; Moralez, Denis (Cazzola 86)
Napoli: Reina; Maggio, Fernandez, Albiol, Reveillere (Ghoulam 76); Inler, Dzemaili (Jorginho 70); Mertens, Pandev, Callejon; Zapata (Higuain 58)
Ref: Rizzoli