Both Spezia and Atalanta hit the woodwork, but La Dea had the most regrets with a Robin Gosens goal disallowed and several wasted chances.
La Dea brought back Pierluigi Gollini, Marten de Roon and Robin Gosens from injury, but Spezia missed Jeroen Zoet, Andrij Galabinov, Daniele Verde and Cristian Dell’Orco.
Spezia certainly had an aggressive start, as in the opening 120 seconds Diego Farias saw his powerful curler from outside the box smack against the far post.
Gosens fired inches wide after riding a Claudio Terzi tackle, then Erlic made a decisive block on Duvan Zapata after Josip Ilicic caught Spezia in possession.
Fabio Depaoli was forced off with a muscular problem, so Cristiano Piccini received his debut in the Atalanta jersey.
Atalanta began to take control of the game and create more chances, which culminated in Duvan Zapata’s precise finish from the edge of the area bouncing off the base of the upright.
Rafael Toloi’s chest and volley flashed wide from a corner, but Atalanta finally found the back of the net on 56 minutes when Duvan Zapata nodded on a Toloi cross and Gosens hit the left-foot scorcher into the far bottom corner from 14 yards. However, after a long wait, the goal was disallowed due to Duvan Zapata’s shoulder being offside.
Emmanuel Gyasi stung Gollini’s gloves, while Ivan Provedel was at full stretch to fingertip a Sam Lammers strike round the base of the far post.
Gosens was Atalanta’s liveliest player and pulled back from the by-line for Piccini’s weak header wide. In the final minutes, Provedel performed a stunning double save on Mario Pasalic with his feet, then sticking up a glove to deflect the Gosens follow-up with one hand.
Pasalic twice more had chances to win it, but didn’t make Provedel work hard enough with meek finishing.
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