Ciro Immobile scored on his Lazio debut, but Frank Kessie’s brace for Atalanta set up a tense finale in this thrilling 4-3 result.
It has been an even more chaotic summer than usual at Lazio, with Marcelo Bielsa resigning two days after the contract was deposited, Simone Inzaghi being recalled and today legal action threatened against “unprofessional” Keita Balde Diao. Felipe Anderson was celebrating his Gold medal with Brazil at the Rio Olympics, so youth team player Cristiano Lombardi had to partner Ciro Immobile and Ricardo Kishna in a trident attack. Atalanta made their debut under new Coach Gian Piero Gasperini, who had a full squad to choose from.
Alberto Paloschi, who had scored three in his last three meetings with Lazio, thought he’d made it four when smacking a powerful early strike against the crossbar.
However, Immobile sprung the offside trap on a Sergej Milinkovic-Savic through ball and kept his cool to sweep the angled drive across the goalkeeper with the inside of his right boot.
Lazio were surprisingly clinical and doubled their lead on a free kick, Wesley Hoedt’s header squirming through Marco Sportiello’s gloves.
Atalanta had the ball in the net, but Rafael Toloi was offside when redirecting a scuffed Paloschi effort.
Instead, Lazio youngster Cristiano Lombardi scored on his Serie A debut, following up the tap-in from Sportiello’s save on Immobile.
There was a scare when Boukary Drame’ got an accidental knee in the head and seemed to briefly lose consciousness. He was stretchered off with a neck brace and taken to hospital for tests as a precaution.
Marco D’Alessandro came off the bench and almost immediately chipped up a pass for Leonardo Spinazzola’s diving header just wide.
Atalanta continued to push after the restart and Federico Marchetti flew to palm away a Papu Gomez volley from close range.
They did get back into it with 19-year-old Serie A debutant Frank Kessie’, whose cross-shot was low and hard to surprise Marchetti at the base of the near post. It was a big error from the goalkeeper.
Marchetti was at fault again for the second goal, spilling a Jasmin Kurtic effort for Kessie to pounce on the rebound.
This wild game in Bergamo still wasn’t over, as Danilo Cataldi came off the bench and immediately scored, tapping in as Dusan Basta rolled a smart ball across the six-yard box.
Atalanta would not give in and moments later Andrea Petagna, on loan from Milan, smashed an angled drive into the far bottom corner to set up a tense finale.
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