Atalanta leapfrogged Milan into sixth place and effectively ended Torino’s European ambitions with this relatively comfortable win.
This was a head-to-head for European places, especially pertinent since Milan lost to Benevento last night and put sixth place back in contention. Atalanta qualified last term and had an excellent run, eventually knocked out by Borussia Dortmund, but went into this game without Josip Ilicic, Leonardo Spinazzola and Jose Luis Palomino. Toro had Daniele Baselli and Lorenzo De Silvestri suspended, plus Lyanco injured, so Kevin Bonifazi and Simone Edera stepped in.
The Granata were coming off two consecutive away clean sheets in Serie A, hoping to hit three for the first time since 1993.
Remo Freuler’s scuffed finish skimmed the upright and teenage striker Musa Barrow had two great chances, both beaten away with some difficulty by Salvatore Sirigu, with Hans Hateboer unable to make the most of the second rebound.
Barrow tested Sirigu again just before half-time, his powerful left-foot effort from the edge of the box parried.
Atalanta finally made all that pressure count with a well-worked team goal. Barrow combined with Bryan Cristante down the right and floated a perfect cross to the back post for Remo Freuler’s cushioned free header.
However, it lasted only a couple of minutes before Torino scored with their first genuine opportunity. Adem Ljajic ran on to a Simone Edera through ball and was quick to get his shot away, surprising Etrit Berisha at the near bottom corner.
Barrow’s header skimmed the bar and Atalanta restored their advantage. Timothy Castagne rolled across the face of goal and found his fellow winger Robin Gosens unmarked at the far post for his debut Serie A goal.
It was all Atalanta, a Papu Gomez cross-shot testing Sirigu at the near post, Gianluca Mancini’s header on to the side-netting.
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