SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 4 - 22 Sep 2019 (17.00 UK)
Atalanta 2 - 2 Fiorentina
Palomino og 24 (F), Ribery 66 (F), Ilicic 83 (A), Castagne 95 (A)
Stadio Tardini, Parma

Atalanta completed an astonishing comeback from 2-0 down to hold Fiorentina 2-2 with spectacular volleys from Franck Ribery and Timothy Castagne.

The Orobici were given a rude awakening in their historic Champions League debut this week, losing 4-0 at Dinamo Zagreb. Gian Piero Gasperini therefore rotated the squad, dropping Papu Gomez, Josip Ilicic and Rafael Toloi, with Ruslan Malinovskyi, Mario Pasalic and Luis Muriel brought in. Fiorentina were still without a win this season, but buoyed by a good performance in the 0-0 draw with Juventus.

As the Gewiss Stadium is still undergoing restructuring work, Atalanta again played at the Stadio Tardini in Parma.

Blerim Djimsiti nodded a corner over the bar and Malinovskyi’s long-range free kick was deflected wide, while Muriel flashed a shot across the face of goal.

Fiorentina’s first threat came after 15 minutes, when Franck Ribery’s pressing won back possession for Gaetano Castrovilli to fire over.

Muriel cut inside Nikola Milenkovic to drill straight at Bartlomiej Dragowski, but the Viola broke the deadlock with a stroke of luck.

A corner came out to Chiesa, whose volley took a huge deflection off Jose Luis Palomino to wrong-foot Pierluigi Gollini. It still represents Chiesa’s first goal of the season.

Atalanta nearly equalised within a minute, but Duvan Zapata pulled his angled drive wide of the target.

The tension rose when Dalbert heard some racist abuse from the stands and the referee halted play until a warning statement was read out by the stadium speaker. The Atalanta fans also jeered every time Chiesa got the ball, as last season he was bitterly criticised for a supposed ‘dive’ against them.

Malinovskyi surged forward and spread the play down the left for Muriel, whose strike clipped the outside of the post.

Atalanta were not breaking the Viola down, so Gasperini introduced Josip Ilicic and Papu Gomez, the Slovenian immediately seeing a free kick charged down, but they continued to dominate possession without creating genuine chances.

Instead, Fiorentina doubled their lead with a magnificent goal. Chiesa deserves much of the credit for picking Palomino’s pocket and curling a perfect cross from the right to find Ribery’s left-foot volley as he came sliding in at the back post. It was the former Bayern Munich star’s first Serie A goal and achieved in real style.

Castrovilli made a decisive block as Ilicic was pulling the trigger from 10 yards on a Malinovskyi through ball.

Atalanta finally got one back and it was another well-worked goal. Papu Gomez chipped up a ball over the top, which Ilicic chested down and volleyed in while under pressure.

At the 91st minute, Atalanta had the ball in the net for 2-2 when Marten de Roon knocked down a Gomez cross for Pasalic to tap in. However, after a VAR review, the referee ascertained De Roon had made contact with his wrist when under pressure from Venuti’s diving header, so it was disallowed.

They kept pushing and with seconds to spare, a corner found Timothy Castagne on the edge of the box for a magnificent volley off the outside of the right boot into the far bottom corner. It sent the crowd, players and Coach Gasperini wild, completing the comeback from 2-0 down to 2-2. It was the ideal way for Castagne to mark his return after knee surgery.

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Atalanta: Gollini; Djimsiti, Palomino, Masiello (Gomez 57); Castagne, De Roon, Pasalic, Gosens (Arana 85); Malinovskyi; Muriel (Ilicic 57), Duvan Zapata
Fiorentina: Dragowski; Milenkovic, Pezzella, Caceres; Lirola, Pulgar, Badelj, Castrovilli, Dalbert (Venuti 84); Chiesa (Vlahovic 76), Ribery (Boateng 68)
Ref: Orsato