SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 25 - 18 Feb 2018 (17.00 UK)
Atalanta 1 - 1 Fiorentina
Badelj 17 (F), Petagna 45 (A)
Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia

Andrea Petagna earned Atalanta a point against Fiorentina with his first Serie A goal since September, but Nikola Milenkovic saw red.

This was a head-to-head for European places and a tough test for the hosts, who played a 3-2 Europa League thriller away to Borussia Dortmund on Thursday. There was some minimal squad rotation from Gian Piero Gasperini, while the Viola missed Vincent Laurini as they tried to recover from a controversial defeat to Juventus.

The last time Atalanta recorded victory over Fiorentina in the league was in April 2012. German Denis and Giacomo Bonaventura scored to secure a 2-0 win, followed by eight defeats and four draws.

Giovanni Simeone should’ve scored after five minutes when he ran on to a Milan Badelj through ball and shrugged off Mattia Caldara, but rather than roll across for Jordan Veretout, he blasted over from a very promising position.

Fiorentina took the lead when Pierluigi Gollini, in for the rested Etrit Berisha, only parried a Badelj snapshot and the Croatia international turned in at the second time of asking.

Bryan Cristante had a shot charged down on the edge of the area after Papu Gomez’s cheeky back-heel flick, but Gil Dias drilled just wide following a smart Simeone counter-attack.

Gomez came sliding in at the back post, inches away from meeting a Cristante low cross, and Federico Chiesa on the counter saw his finish deflected on to the side-netting.

With the last kick of the first half, Atalanta got their equaliser. A Gomez free kick was whipped in and Andrea Petagna resisted a shirt-tug to steer his header into the far bottom corner. That was the hard-working centre-forward’s first Serie A goal since September.

Marco Benassi went over in the box and was booked for simulation. Davide Astori reached back with his heel to intercept a Gomez cross reaching Petagna, then at the other end Jose Luis Palomino thanked Benassi for a poor first touch from eight yards out.

Petagna almost added a second goal, his looping header from a Gomez free kick fingertipped out of the far top corner.

Gianluca Mancini did just about enough to stop Diego Falcinelli back-heeling in from close range and Bryan Dabo was given his Viola debut on his 26th birthday.

Cristiano Biraghi hit a scorcher just wide from a good 30 metres out, but Fiorentina defender Milenkovic picked up two yellow cards in a few minutes to leave his side down to 10 men.

Remo Freuler skimmed the woodwork, but in stoppages Fiorentina could’ve won it, only for Diego Falcinelli to fire over when gifted a poor Hans Hateboer back-pass.

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Atalanta: Gollini; Mancini (Hateboer 75), Caldara, Palomino; Gosens, Freuler, De Roon, Castagne; Cristante (Ilicic 70); Gomez, Petagna (Haas 82)
Fiorentina: Sportiello; Milenkovic, Astori, Pezzella, Biraghi; Benassi (Dabo 68), Badelj, Veretout; Gil Dias (Thereau 83), Simeone (Falcinelli 60), Chiesa
Ref: Maresca

Sent off: Milenkovic 85 (F)