SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 6 - 24 Sep 2017 (19.45 UK)
Fiorentina 1 - 1 Atalanta
Chiesa 12 (F), Freuler 94 (A)
Stadio Artemio Franchi

Atalanta grabbed a controversial last-gasp draw at Fiorentina, as Remo Freuler wiped out a Federico Chiesa stunner and Marco Sportiello saved a penalty.

The Viola had Milan Badelj suspended following the unlucky midweek defeat to Juventus, so Carlos Sanchez and Gil Dias bolstered the midfield. Atalanta gave Leonardo Spinazzola his first start of the season, but with Andrea Petagna and Andreas Cornelius nursing knocks, Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gomez was given a new role as centre-forward, backed by ex-Fiorentina man Josip Ilicic.

Atalanta haven’t beaten Fiorentina in Serie A since a 2-0 in Bergamo in April 2012, followed by eight defeats and three draws. The last time the Bergamo boys conquered the Stadio Franchi was 1-0 in January 1993.

Jasmin Kurtic ran on to an inspired Gomez through ball, testing Marco Sportiello at the near post, and from the resulting corner Rafael Toloi nodded off target.

It was Federico Chiesa who broke the deadlock with a simply magnificent solo effort. He controlled a looping ball with a delicate first touch, let it bounce and smashed an unstoppable right-foot half-volley rocket into the near top corner.

Atalanta fought back, Sportiello needing a desperate save from point-blank range on Remo Freuler after another inspired Papu assist.

Toloi limped off with a muscular problem, making way for Italy Under-21 international Gianluca Mancini. Ilicic fired over the bar and Spinazzola squirmed between defenders only to misplace the pull-back from the by-line.

A Chiesa low cross-field pass sparked a very dangerous counter, but Gil Dias made the wrong decision on the flick-on.

On the stroke of half-time, Ilicic’s free kick was deflected over the bar, from which Jose Luis Palomino nodded off target.

After the restart, an Ilicic free kick skimmed the near top corner and Jordan Veretout drilled just wide.

Atalanta were awarded a penalty when Ilicic seemed to run into German Pezzella, but the VAR officials confirmed the decision. Papu Gomez took a decent spot-kick, not quite into the corner, but Sportiello performed a marvellous one-handed save to keep Fiorentina in front.

Andreas Cornelius knocked down a Timothy Castagne cross with his chest for Ilicic to turn the half-volley just wide. The hosts lost Cristiano Biraghi to a heel injury and Ilicic joined him, hobbling off to make way for Riccardo Orsolini.

Pezzella nodded a corner over the bar, but on that same set play Davide Astori had his shirt pulled by Spinazzola. Despite being clear on camera, VAR was not used.

There was danger from a corner, as Carlos Sanchez risked an own goal with his head and Riccardo Orsolini’s overhead kick wasn’t far off target.

It was a chaotic end to the game, as first Sportiello performed a stunning reaction save on Castagne, then Fiorentina countered and Gil Dias went down in the box as Etrit Berisha appeared to catch his ankle, but again the referee opted not to view the VAR footage.

Khouma Babacar was sent clear on the counter only for his touch to let him down one-on-one with Berisha.

Just as Fiorentina thought they’d done enough, Cornelius knocked down a long ball on the edge of the box for Freuler to drill low into the near bottom corner.


Fiorentina: Sportiello; Laurini, Pezzella, Astori, Biraghi (Maxi Olivera 67); Veretout, Sanchez, Gil Dias; Chiesa, Thereau (Eysseric 74); Simeone (Babacar 53)
Atalanta: Berisha; Toloi (Mancini 24), Caldara, Palomino; Castagne, De Roon, Freuler, Spinazzola; Kurtic (Cornelius 51), Ilicic (Orsolini 71); Gomez
Ref: Pairetto

Saved penalty: Gomez 61 (A)