Atalanta failed to make the most of their opportunities and Hellas Verona made it stick with a Miguel Veloso penalty and Mattia Zaccagni counter to leapfrog La Dea in the table.
La Dea were still fired up after their prestigious midweek Champions League victory at Anfield, but also rotated the squad, with Duvan Zapata returning, although Aleksei Miranchuk and Ruslan Malinovskyi were both out with COVID. Hellas were frustrated by hitting the woodwork four times in their defeat to Sassuolo, with injuries piling up for Nikola Kalinic, Darko Lazovic, Koray Gunter, Ronaldo Vieira, Giangiacomo Magnani and Kevin Ruegg.
Josip Ilicic should’ve done better with the first big chance, firing over on a Duvan Zapata assist after Papu Gomez pressing had won back the ball.
Remo Freuler also blasted off target from a promising position, but Verona lost Massimo Lovato to injury.
Gomez stung Marco Silvestri’s gloves at the near post, then the goalkeeper had to come tearing out to palm a floated Ilicic pass off the feet of Duvan Zapata and Johan Mojica nodded a Hans Hateboer cross wide.
Surprisingly, Andrea Danzi lasted only 15 minutes after replacing injured Lovato and was himself replaced at half-time by Miguel Veloso.
Rafael Toloi forced a save on Duvan Zapata’s assist, but Verona were yet again frustrated by the frame of the goal when Veloso’s swerving left-foot strike cracked against the top of the crossbar.
It was end-to-end stuff after the restart, Silvestri making a double save on Duvan Zapata’s header and the Ilicic follow-up, then smothering at the feet of Duvan Zapata from point-blank range.
Verona came incredibly close too, a Samuel Di Carmine glancing header skimming the far post. Hellas introduced Ebrima Colley, who is on loan from Atalanta, and earned a penalty when Rafael Toloi bundled into the back of Mattia Zaccagni. Miguel Veloso converted the penalty into the top corner, giving Pierluigi Gollini no chance.
The night got worse for Gollini, who then limped off with a knee injury. Luis Muriel had several chances, including one scuffed wide and a header that landed on the roof of the net, while Andrea Favilli fired just wide for Verona.
It was end-to-end stuff and Verona made it stick with their counter-attack. Veloso’s pass over the top was good, but the first touch with the outside of the boot from Zaccagni was magnificent, setting him up to stroke a right-foot finish into the far bottom corner for 2-0.
Atalanta tried to the bitter end, Silvestri using his legs to parry from Hans Hateboer and Muriel going on a mazy run, but could not find a way through this heroic Hellas performance.
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