Atalanta confirm their ambitions for this season after a commanding 4-1 win away to Lazio, with Papu Gomez’s brace including a left-foot rocket.
This Week 1 fixture was postponed from September 19-20 because La Dea ended their season late due to the Champions League quarter-final against PSG. Both started with a victory in Serie A and wanted to build on last term’s impressive showings.
Joaquin Correa pulled out in the warm-up, so Felipe Caicedo stepped in, with Luiz Felipe, Senad Lulic, Denis Vavro and Vedat Muriqi injured. Atalanta missed Pierluigi Gollini, Matteo Pessina and Aleksei Miranchuk.
There was an early double Lazio chance, Marco Sportiello parrying from Luis Alberto and Ciro Immobile’s follow-up charged down by Jose Luis Palomino.
However, it was Atalanta who broke the deadlock, as Hans Hateboer nodded down a cross for Duvan Zapata, but it fell kindly for Robin Gosens to finish it off. The Aquile were furious, claiming Hateboer had pushed Adam Marusic, but if there was any contact, it was extremely soft.
Luis Alberto’s header was off target from a promising position, but Atalanta doubled their lead when the two wing-backs returned the favour of the first goal.
This time, it was Gosens providing the cross for Hateboer to volley in with the inside of his right boot from eight yards, left totally unmarked because the Lazio defenders were all crowding around Duvan Zapata.
The hosts almost hit back immediately, Immobile smashing his strike against the underside of the bar amid a crowd after Sportiello fumbled the cross.
However, Thomas Strakosha stuck out a foot to deny Duvan Zapata and as the move continued, Papu Gomez pounced on a poor Patric clearance to rifle into the far bottom corner.
When Lazio did get forward, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic fired straight at Sportiello and Manuel Lazzari went for the assist rather than shot when clear on goal.
It’s worth remembering Atalanta were 3-0 up here last season at the break and that game ended 3-3. After the restart, Marusic’s volley forced a stunning save out of Sportiello from close range on the Lazzari cross and Caicedo got them back into it, the Milinkovic-Savic cross falling kindly for him to bundle over from point-blank range.
It was almost 2-3 moments later, Immobile sprinting into the area and Sportiello doing just enough to send him wide, so the finish only struck the side-netting.
However, Papu Gomez restored the three-goal cushion with a spectacular individual strike, as he took on Patric and created just enough space to hit a left-foot rocket into the far top corner from a tight angle.
Luis Muriel came off the bench and really should’ve added a fifth, but he fired wide from the edge of the area on a Malinovskyi assist.
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