SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 18 - 20 Dec 2016 (19.45 UK)
Atalanta 2 - 1 Empoli
Mchedlidze 51 (E) Kessié 74 (A) D'Alessandro 90+4 (A)
Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia

A last-gasp winner saw Atalanta past Empoli, in a game which the Orobici had completely dominated.

Levan Mchedlidze opened the scoring for the Tuscan side, but substitutes Franck Kessié and Marco D'Alessandro gave the home side a deserved win.

The visitors were without Riccardo Saponara, who was suffering with a fever, so Daniele Croce replaced him in the starting XI.

For the Orobici, Mattia Caldara dropped to the bench, with the centre-back replaced by former Roma man Ervin Zukanovic.

Alejandro Gomez sent a cross along the six-yard box, but no-one was able to get on the end of it.

The Atalanta captain was causing all sorts of problems, skinning Uros Cosic before forcing Lukasz Skorupski into a decent save at his near post.

Gomez was again instrumental on 25 minutes, cutting inside and firing in a shot which was spilled by Skorupsku.

Andrea Petagna was following in, and appeared to be caught by the Empoli goalkeeper but referee Michael Fabbri waved play on.

The home side were well on top, but they were struggling to convert domination into goals and Roberto Gagliardini dragged a shot wide from the edge of the box.

Gasperini sent on Franck Kessié for Ivan Kurtić at half-time, and he almost immediately forced Skorupski into a save, the Pole getting down well to beat away his low right-footed shot.

Empoli hadn’t managed a single shot on target, but they took a shock lead with 51 minutes played.

Federico Dimarco’s free-kick from the right hand side was poor but Levan Mchedlidze got his left foot to it to divert it into the net completely against the run of play.

Almost immediately, Gomez went down at the other end but he was rightly booked for a theatrical dive as he tried to buy a penalty.

Skorupski was again alert to beat away a Petagna shot at his near post.

Atalanta had racked up 22 shots without hitting the back of the net, but they finally got on the scoresheet on 74 minuts.

Gomez teed-up Kessié just inside the box, and the 20-year-old rifled a low shot past Skorupski for a deserved equaliser.

The Ivorian came close to the winner, improvising a half-volley which came back off the underside of the Empoli bar.

Inside the final 10 minutes, Gagliardini dragged a shot wide of the far post as the Orobici desperately pushed for a winner.

The same player headed wide from a Gomez cross, and really should have scored.

It looked as though Empoli would hang on for an unlikely point, but a goalmouth scramble on a Kessié cross saw it fall to D'Alessandro for a last-gasp winner.

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Atalanta: Sportiello; Toloi, Masiello, Zukanović; Conti (D’Alessandro, 57), Gagliardini, Freuler, Spinazzola; Kurtić (Kessié, 46); Petagna (Pesic, 72), Gomez
Empoli: Skorupski; Cosic, Bellusci, Costa (Veseli, 17), Dimarco; Tello, Diousse, Buchel; Croce; Marilungo (Pucciarelli, 67), Mchedlidze (Gilardino, 73)
Ref: Fabbri