SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 16 - 12 Dec 2017 (18.00 UK)
Genoa 1 - 2 Atalanta
Bertolacci 4 (G) Ilicic 45 (A) Masiello 52 (A)
Stadio Luigi Ferraris

Two wonder saves from Mattia Perin weren’t enough to stop Genoa going down 2-1 at home to Atalanta.

The goalkeeper pulled off two amazing blocks either side of half time, but goals from Josip Ilicic and Andrea Masiello cancelled out Andrea Bertolacci’s fourth-minute opener.

Grifone Coach Davide Ballardini named an unchanged starting XI from the side which beat Verona last Monday, with Goran Pandev and Adel Taarabt leading the line.

They got off to a flier, with Taarabt finding Andrea Bertolacci on the edge of the box and the midfielder firing a left-footed strike past Etrit Berisha.

It was the Italian international’s fourth goal against the Bergamaschi, two more than he’s scored against any other Serie A side.

Berisha had to make a late block on Ervin Zukanovic, but the visitors held on to take their first away win of the season.

Diego Laxalt was unlucky not to make it two, his low shot just kissing the outside of the post.

At the other end, Mattia Perin got down to pull off a great save after Rafael Toloi headed a Papu Gomez free-kick toward the bottom corner.

The goalkeeper barely had any time to react, but he got a strong left hand to the header and the defence scrambled it clear.

It looked as though the hosts would hold out until half-time, but Josip Ilicic had other ideas.

Following great work on the right from Andrea Petagna, the Slovenian picked the ball up in the area, taking a touch past Armando Izzo and firing the ball into the bottom corner.

Genoa started the second half on the front foot, with Berisha beating away a shot from Taarabt after he had combined well with Pandev.

The latter then should have put his side back in front, twice being denied by Berisha in a goalmouth scramble.

The hosts were made to pay for that profligacy just minutes later, with a free-kick on the left finding its way past everyone to the back post, where Andrea Masiello headed home.

Taarabt was played in one-on-one with Berisha, but he could only hit the goalkeeper’s legs and was offside in any case.

Substitute José Luis Palomino thought he had put the game to bed when he got on the end of a Gomez corner, but once again Perin got down to make the save.

Berisha had to block from Ervin Zukanovic, and Daniele Doveri added five minutes of extra-time, but the visitors held on for a first away win of the season.


Genoa: Perin; Izzo, Spolli, Zukanovic; Rosi, Rigoni (Ricci, 84), Veloso, Bertolacci, Laxalt (Lapadula, 67); Pandev (Omeonga, 77), Taarabt
Atalanta: Berisha; Toloi (Palomino, 50), Caldara, Masiello; Hateboer, Cristante, Freuler, Spinazzola; Iličić (Cornelius, 72), Petagna (De Roon, 55), Gomez
Ref: Doveri