Atalanta absolutely dominated Chievo at the Stadio Bentegodi with Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gomez bagging a brace.
The Orobici left Roberto Gagliardini on the bench while his negotiations continue for a €25m move to Inter. He wasn’t the only important absentee, as Boukary Drame was injured and Franck Kessie on Africa Cup of Nations duty with the Ivory Coast. Etrit Berisha returned in goal, though. Chievo missed Perparim Hetemaj, Nicola Rigoni, Mariano Izco, Fabrizio Cacciatore and Gennaro Sardo.
Atalanta took the lead after just four minutes with a spectacular team effort. Andrea Petagna’s defence-splitting pass found Remo Freuler, who set up Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gomez to finish from 12 yards.
The Argentine, wearing a new Frozen captain’s armband for the occasion, added another goal when he blasted into the roof of the net from 12 yards on Leonardo Spinazzola’s assist.
Atalanta were dominant in the first half at the Bentegodi and added a third before the break. Stefano Sorrentino parried from Andrea Petagna and Gomez, but could do nothing on the Andrea Conti follow-up.
Substitute Antonio Floro Flores prodded in from close range, but had wandered offside, while Atalanta continued to waste chances.
Chievo did get back into it when Rafael Toloi cleared off the line from a corner, then Sergio Pellissier kept his cool to flick on a Floro Flores long ball and go round the goalkeeper. However, the veteran striker appeared to be offside.
Atalanta did restore their three-goal cushion with Petagna drawing defenders towards him, a slide-rule pass sending Remo Freuler clear to score.