Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gomez scored a hat-trick, but Andrea Conti was the star with an amazing overhead kick as Atalanta demolished Genoa.
This was an emotional moment for Gian Piero Gasperini, who had two long stints on the Grifone bench and returned to face his former club. Atalanta are pushing for Europe and only missing Boukary Drame, as Etrit Berisha returned to the starting XI. Andrea Mandorlini tried to shake things up after losing Danilo Cataldi, Miguel Veloso and Mattia Perin by opting for Rubinho in goal. It was a huge surprise, as the former Juventus man hadn’t started a Serie A match since 2010.
January 2010 was also the last time Atalanta lost in this fixture, emerging with two wins and four draws.
Luca Rigoni’s snapshot whistled just wide from the D, while Franck Kessie caused a lot of problems early doors. He sprung the offside trap to see his cross-shot cleared practically off the line by Ezequiel Munoz, then his scorcher was beaten away by Rubinho.
Atalanta took the lead with a simply magnificent overhead kick from Andrea Conti. It was certainly not a wing-back’s finish, as his technique was flawless from eight yards on the Leonardo Spinazzola cross.
Andrea Petagna fell under a clumsy Nicolas Burdisso challenge and Papu Gomez converted the penalty to double their advantage at Marassi.
Rubinho beat away a dipping Papu Gomez free kick and Kessie smacked the upright with a scorching shot.
Mauricio Pinilla was facing his former club and let the tension of the situation get to him. He was booked for a sliding tackle on Berisha, swore at the referee from point-blank range and was inevitably sent off. The Chile international made things worse, as he kept going after the official and had to be held back by teammates and opponents.
Atalanta made it 3-0 with Papu Gomez tapping in at the back post when Jasmin Kurtic rolled his assist across the face of goal.
Genoa fans protested this dismal campaign and performance by turning their backs to the pitch.
They therefore missed the fourth Atalanta goal, with some shocking defending on a corner allowing Mattia Caldara to volley in with the inside of his right foot from six yards, totally undisturbed.
Gomez completed his hat-trick, waltzing through what remained of the Genoa defence to fire in from close range.
See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk
Sent off: Pinilla 60 (G)