SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 37 - 28 Jul 2020 (18.30 UK)
Parma 1 - 2 Atalanta
Kulusevski 43 (P), Malinovskyi 70 (A), Gomez 84 (A)
Stadio Ennio Tardini

Dejan Kulusevski gave Parma the lead against his old club, but Ruslan Malinovskyi and Papu Gomez completed the comeback for Atalanta’s 2-1 win.

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La Dea were still unbeaten since the restart, one point off second place and aiming to reach 100 Serie A goals this season, with Rafael Toloi suspended and Josip Ilicic on a personalised training schedule to be ready for the Champions League. The Ducali had won back-to-back games, but missed Andreas Cornelius, Roberto Inglese, Gaston Brugman, Hernani, Alberto Grassi and Matteo Scozzarella. It was a special match for ex-Atalanta winger Dejan Kulusevski, who was sold to Juventus in January.

Remo Freuler’s free header was wide from eight yards in just the fourth minute, while Pierluigi Gollini rushed off his line to deny Riccardo Gagliolo after an inspired Kulusevski pass.

Kulusevski turned on the style moments later, his left-foot curler smacking against the inside of the far post after he cut inside from the right flank.

There was bad news for Atalanta, as Jose Luis Palomino pulled up mid-sprint with a suspected thigh strain and is going to be a major doubt for the Champions League against PSG.

Gianluca Caprari turned makeshift defender Hans Hateboer, but Mattia Caldara made a decisive sliding block in the penalty area.

Parma eventually took a deserved lead just before the break with their best player, Kulusevski. Gervinho rode a tackle to roll it forward for the Swede, who then won his clash with already-booked Sutalo to blast in from 12 yards.

Atalanta were unrecognisable, so Gian Piero Gasperini shook things up for the second half and they increasingly pinned Parma back. After Duvan Zapata and Luis Muriel efforts off target, Ruslan Malinovskyi’s ferocious free kick drilled through the Parma wall into the near bottom corner to equalise.

That was the 25th consecutive Serie A match on target for Atalanta and their 97th league goal of the season.

The momentum was shifting throughout the second half and La Dea completed the comeback with their captain, who hadn’t scored in Serie A since the last time he faced Parma in January. Papu Gomez surged forward, nutmegged Jasmin Kurtic and immediately smacked the left-foot strike into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

The teams were exhausted and stretched out, which made for an entertaining final few minutes, as Muriel’s strike was charged down and Duvan Zapata tested Luigi Sepe one-on-one, then in stoppages Hans Hateboer needed a goal-line clearance when Kulusevski’s pull-back found Dermaku from close range.

Robin Gosens forced Sepe into a fingertip save over the bar with practically the last kick of the game.

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Parma: Sepe; Darmian, Dermaku, Alves, Gagliolo (Pezzella 83); Kucka, Kurtic, BarillĂ  (Iacoponi 83); Kulusevski, Gervinho (Karamoh 66), Caprari (Siligardi 79)
Atalanta: Gollini; Sutalo (Djimsiti 46), Caldara (Muriel 61), Palomino (Hateboer 36); Castagne, De Roon, Freuler, Gosens; Pasalic (Malinovskyi 46); Gomez (Tameze 85), Duvan Zapata
Ref: Pairetto