SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 29 - 18 Mar 2018 (14.00 UK)
Verona 0 - 5 Atalanta
Cristante 3 (A), Ilicic pen 45, 48, 69 (A), Gomez 71 (A)
Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi

Atalanta put a firm end to Verona’s revival hopes with a 5-0 mauling at the Bentegodi, with Josip Ilicic bagging a hat-trick.

Hellas saw their hopes of safety revitalised by two straight wins over Torino and rivals Chievo, but Moise Kean and Alessio Cerci were injured. Gianluca Mancini sat out a ban for the Orobici, who also had Mattia Caldara sidelined.

It took just three minutes to break the deadlock, as an effort from a corner was charged down and Bryan Cristante blasted in the rebound.

Atalanta were dominant and continued to threaten with Josip Ilicic’s free kick deflected over, but Verona almost equalised with a classic counter.

Daniele Verde flew down the flank and Ryder Matos got to the low cross before his market, turning it on to the upright from close range.

Atalanta thought they had doubled their lead just before half-time when Andrea Masiello’s slide-rule pass released Papu Gomez for a curler into the far bottom corner from the edge of the box, but VAR confirmed it was marginally offside.

Ilicic dribbled through the Hellas defence and forced Nicolas to parry with an outstretched boot at the near post.

The second goal did arrive eventually, again using VAR to rule Mohamed Fares had pulled back Andrea Petagna by the jersey. Ilicic converted the penalty in first half stoppages.

Petagna set up the third goal with a clever assist for Ilicic, drawing away defenders to slide his teammate in and the finish flew under the bar.

It was one-way traffic in Verona and Atalanta cut through the Hellas defence like a knife through butter. Gomez laid it off on the edge of the area for another Ilicic strike into the roof of the net, completing his hat-trick.

Petagna inadvertently created the fifth and final Orobici goal, his shot parried into the air by Nicolas so Gomez was ready to nod in undisturbed at the back post.

It could’ve been even worse, but Papu Gomez saw his lob beat Nicolas only to bounce off the upright of an open goal.

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Verona: Nicolas; Ferrari, Caracciolo, Vukovic, Fares; Romulo, Buchel (Valoti 46), Calvano, Verde (Aarons 55); Matos; Petkovic (Felicioli 70)
Atalanta: Berisha; Toloi, Palomino, Masiello; Castagne, Cristante (De Roon 74), Freuler, Spinazzola (Gosens 88); Ilicic (Haas 88); Petagna, Gomez
Ref: Di Bello