Atalanta got back on track in Serie A with a 2-1 victory away to Crotone, as Luis Muriel’s early brace proved enough, despite the Nwankwo Simy reply.
La Dea kept squad rotation to a minimum after two consecutive Serie A defeats, with Robin Gosens, Marten de Roon and Mattia Caldara injured. The Pitagorici missed Emanuel Riviere, Koffi Djidji, suspended Luca Cigarini, plus COVID-19 cases Salvatore Molina and Denis Dragus.
Luis Muriel’s angled drive flashed across the face of goal to skim the far post within five minutes, as did the Arkadiusz Reca finish at the end of a mazy run riding several tackles.
Muriel was sent clear on goal by Ruslan Malinovskyi moments later, forcing a fingertip save from Alex Cordaz. The Colombian did open the scoring eventually, gathering from Malinovskyi with his back to goal and in one smooth movement spinning round to finish into the bottom corner.
Papu Gomez had a double chance charged down on Johan Mojica’s cross, while Muriel forced Cordaz into a save with his outstretched foot.
Muriel did complete his brace with a cool finish into the near bottom corner, as Remo Freuler had robbed the ball off Ahmad Benali to set up his teammate.
However, Crotone were in it too, as Reca prodded through an assist for Nwankwo Simy to beat Marco Sportiello from a tricky angle and make it 2-1 moments later.
Just days before a showdown with Liverpool, Atalanta rotated their forwards at the break. Duvan Zapata had an attempt charged down in the area, but it should’ve been 2-2 on 64 minutes.
Mojica gave it away with a shocking back-pass to Junior Messias, but the Crotone player was also caught napping when he went one-on-one with Sportiello, hesitated and allowed Remo Freuler to snatch the ball. Sportiello had also risked giving away a penalty, but pulled out of really clutching Messias’ arm.
Hans Hateboer and Cristian Romero went off with muscular problems, but Malinovskyi had the chance to make it 3-1 when blasting straight at on-rushing Cordaz.
Reca over-hit the cross for Simy, so he couldn’t get it under control from seven yards, while Duvan Zapata blasted over, then saw two different chances graze the upright with his head and inside of the right boot.
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