Duvan Zapata completed the comeback for Atalanta to overturn Andrea Petagna’s SPAL and keep up the Champions League pace.
The Orobici knew a win would put them in joint fourth place with Roma and Lazio, awaiting Milan’s game with Cagliari this evening, and welcomed back Josip Ilicic from injury. SPAL had Dias Felipe and Mohamed Fares suspended, with Pasquale Schiattarella injured, so Alberto Paloschi pushed in to partner ex-Atalanta striker Andrea Petagna.
SPAL were unbeaten against Atalanta since a 1-0 Serie B result here in January 1977, picking up three wins and seven 1-1 draws in all competition.
Rafael Toloi almost gifted SPAL the opener with an awful back-pass, as Petagna pounced and was denied by an Etrit Berisha save. However, moments later Jasmin Kurtic – another ex-Atalanta player – burst down the left and floated in a cross for Petagna’s free header. Petagna had already scored both goals when SPAL beat the Orobici 2-0 earlier this season.
Papu Gomez only struck the side-netting after good work from Ilicic and Duvan Zapata, then the Argentine was denied by a spectacular double Emiliano Viviano save, the first with an outstretched leg, the second on the rebound with his hands.
Yet Timothy Castagne had to clear practically off the line when another corner found Kevin Bonifazi’s header.
The hosts came out fighting for the second half and after pinning SPAL back, got their equaliser. Duvan Zapata broke away down the left and rolled a perfect assist to the back post for Ilicic to come sliding in.
This goal means Atalanta have found the net in each of their last 15 Serie A games, their longest scoring streak since 17 in January 2007.
They continued to push and Atalanta turned the game around completely with Duvan Zapata’s 15th goal in his last 10 Serie A appearances. Ilicic sent Hans Hateboer down the right and the roll across found the Colombian to power in from eight yards.
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