What a game of two halves! Atalanta dominated and took a comfortable 3-0 lead, but Lazio fought back to draw 3-3 with a stoppage-time penalty.
This was a head-to-head for European places, with the Bergamo boys winning both home and away last season, but losing the Coppa Italia Final here 2-0 in May. Marco Parolo replaced suspended Lucas Leiva, while Manuel Lazzari pulled out in the warm-up, so Adam Marusic stepped in. Duvan Zapata picked up an injury on international duty and made way for fellow Colombian Luis Muriel.
Ruslan Malinovskyi blasted just over, while Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s effort was deflected for a corner after dribbling past four players.
A great passing move from Atalanta should’ve ended in a goal, but Mario Pasalic scuffed his finish from five yards, allowing Strakosha a desperate parry with his foot. Moments later, Muriel sprung the offside trap to drill wide, as it was a total domination from the visitors.
They broke the deadlock in trademark style, as Pasalic’s back-heel flick sent Robin Gosens forward from midfield, his slide-rule pass found Muriel to curl right-footed into the far bottom corner from 14 yards.
Muriel fired another off target and Lazio were on the ropes, as the Colombian’s left-footed free kick flew past everyone for 2-0, helped by Andrea Masiello’s attempted – and failed – flick at the near post, putting Strakosha off.
Papu Gomez blasted wide and Strakosha got down for a one-handed save on Malinovskyi’s free kick, but the third goal was Lazio’s afternoon in a nutshell. Luis Alberto had no passing options, it was intercepted and Muriel’s dummy let Gomez go clear to beat Strakosha one-on-one.
Atalanta rested on their laurels in the second half, aware that they’ll face Manchester City in a few days, so Lazio tried to fight back. Immobile’s shot was saved and Correa fired over after some excellent build-up play, then the Italy international fired over from close range.
Jose Luis Palomino gifted Lazio with a penalty for his entirely unnecessary trip on Immobile, a spot-kick the striker converted himself.
Less than 60 seconds later, it was 3-2, as Correa surged forward and smashed his finish into the roof of the net. Suddenly, the game had turned completely on its head.
Atalanta took their foot off the gas and lost all momentum, Gollini rushing out to clear from Immobile and Danilo Cataldi attempting a lob from midfield.
It should’ve been 3-3 on 78 minutes, as first Gollini flew to palm a Luis Alberto curler out of he far top corner, then made a great reaction save on Correa’s free header from the resulting corner.
Malinovskyi grazed the upright for Atalanta, while Lazio threw on Felipe Caicedo to lay siege to the opposition. A Rafael Toloi clearance bounced off Caicedo’s head and had to be acrobatically saved by Gollini, but play had stopped for the push on the defender.
It was incredibly unbalanced in the final stages, as Atalanta had a series of shots on goal in the same move, Strakosha denying Gomez, Francesco Acerbi clearing off the line from Malinovskyi.
Instead, in stoppages Marten de Roon bundled into Immobile for another penalty in stoppages. Gollini got his hand to the spot-kick, but Immobile hit it so hard and low that it bounced up into the net to equalise. Lazio went from 3-0 down to 3-3.
It still wasn’t over, as Ilicic had a shot charged down and the final move of the game was a Malinovskyi free kick smothered by Strakosha.
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