Atalanta continued their amazing run with eight wins in nine rounds, conquering Bologna 2-0 at the Stadio Dall’Ara.
Gian Piero Gasperini’s side were on a remarkable streak of seven wins and a draw, sending them shooting up the table to joint fourth place. They made this trip to the Dall’Ara without suspended Rafael Toloi, injured Etrit Berisha, Alberto Paloschi and Abdoulay Konko, so Marco Sportiello got his chance in goal after being frozen out for much of the season. The hosts continued to deal with an injury crisis ruling out Simone Verdi, Federico Di Francesco, Umar Sadiq and Per Helander.
The good news was that Antonio Mirante was back in the squad and indeed the starting XI for the first time since a heart scare in August.
Andrea Conti missed an absolute sitter in the opening minutes, volleying over an open goal from six yards from an Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gomez cross.
Andrea Masiello did not make the same mistake, the defender steering a spectacular volley from a tight angle at the far post into the other bottom corner.
It should’ve been 2-0 moments later, but Jasmin Kurtic nodded another Gomez cross wide and then Mirante beat away the Papu assist before Andrea Petagna could tap in.
Bologna almost equalised too, as Federico Viviani’s free kick curled over the wall to thump the crossbar.
Gomez was on fire and his right-foot curler from the edge of the box skimmed the base of the far post, but on the stroke of half-time Luca Rizzo forced Sportiello into a tricky save.
Petagna ballooned over from 12 yards and Gomez turned another effort off target, but eventually Atalanta doubled their lead with Kurtic’s bullet header from a Gomez corner at the near post.
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