Josip Ilicic scored a hat-trick – including an astonishing lob from the centre-circle – as Atalanta destroyed Torino 7-0 on their own turf.
Tomas Rincon and Ola Aina sat out bans, with Simone Zaza, Cristian Ansaldi and Daniele Baselli injured, while Atalanta welcomed Hans Hateboer back from suspension, but Timothy Castagne was still on the treatment table. La Dea were frustratingly inconsistent, going from 5-0 wins over Milan and Parma to their Coppa Italia exit to Fiorentina and home defeat to SPAL.
Robin Gosens made a decisive block on Andrea Belotti’s counter from an Atalanta corner, while Salvatore Sirigu turned a Jose Luis Palomino header round the base of the back post.
Palomino was decisive on the resulting corner, as Diego Laxalt tried to clear, but the defender stopped it dead with a sliding tackle, got back on his feet and immediately rolled across the six-yard box for Ilicic to tap in at the far stick.
It was nearly 2-0 soon after, Ilicic threading through for Gosens, but Sirigu rushed off his line to parry with his knee. Sirigu managed two incredible saves from points-blank range on Remo Freuler, both the first attempt and the rebound.
On the resulting corner, it was cleared to the edge of the box, where Robin Gosens hit a textbook left-foot volley into the far bottom corner. That was the wing-back’s seventh Serie A goal of the season.
Toro seemed to panic every time Atalanta attacked, particularly down the wings, and Sasa Lukic gave away a soft penalty for grabbing Ilicic’s arm. Duvan Zapata converted for his first goal since returning from three months out injured.
Lukic’s volley was deflected just wide after the restart, followed by a Pierluigi Gollini save on Belotti, but it was only a brief moment of optimism, as Atalanta then crushed Toro back down again.
Ilicic showed incredible gall to take a free kick quickly, spot Sirigu off his line and lob him from the centre-circle into the empty net.
Moments later, the Slovenian sprung the offside trap on a Duvan Zapata through ball and was able to sweep into the far bottom corner undisturbed from 12 yards, completing his hat-trick.
Papu Gomez nearly made it 6-0, his effort fingertipped on to the upright by Sirigu, and substitute Ruslan Malinovskyi curled just wide within 30 seconds of coming on.
Armando Izzo made a bad situation worse with a second bookable offence.
Gomez wanted to get on the scoresheet two, but forced a save from distance, then had another attempt desperately blocked by defenders from 12 yards.
Instead, it was Luis Muriel who came off the bench to get a brace. First he converted the penalty when Soualiho Meite clumsily hacked down Rafael Toloi, then moments later scored with an angled drive when sent clear by Papu Gomez.
The tension got to Lukic, who received a second yellow card for a shocking challenge through the back of Gomez. Torino ended the game with nine men, having conceded seven Serie A goals at home for the first time in their history.
See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk
Sent off: Izzo 76 (T), Lukic 89 (T)