Maxi Moralez had a goal controversially disallowed, but made up for it with a splendid curler as Atalanta beat Chievo 1-0.
Both sides are practically safe, but wanted a few more points to be absolutely sure. Atalanta had lost three of the last four rounds and welcomed back German Denis, though Matteo Brighi, Giampaolo Bellini, Guido Marilungo and Daniele Capelli were sidelined. Chievo had to do without Davide Moscardelli, Nikola Gulan and Facchinelli.
Before kick-off in his hometown of Bergamo, there was a minute’s reflection for ex-Atalanta youth team player and local lad Piermario Morosini with one of his favourites (Elvis Presley’s Always on my mind) playing over the loudspeaker.
Cruzado and Luca Cigarini fired wide early on, but there was controversy on 14 minutes. Simone Bonaventura flashed a cross in from the left flank for Maxi Moralez to tap in and Atalanta thought they had taken the lead. However, it was ruled offside in an extremely tight decision that even replays could not entirely clarify.
Denis just failed to get on the end of a Moralez assist from a promising position, while Guglielmo Stendardo came sliding in to force a corner when Pellissier was ready to tap in Boukary Drame’s cross from the left.
Bad news for Marco Andreolli, who during a corner put his foot down badly and seemed to sprain his ankle. He was clearly in agony and stretchered off in tears, so will require x-rays. The Inter youth team product was replaced by Dario Dainelli.
Chievo went on a blistering counter-attack from an Atalanta corner, but a defender got back just in time to block Sergio Pellissier’s shot from the Cyril Thereau through ball.
A Michael Bradley free kick was cleared to the edge of the box, where Czech Republic international Kamil Vacek hit a screamer on the volley that flew inches over the crossbar.
Stefano Sorrentino smothered an Ezequiel Schelotto volley from six yards. After the restart Nicolas Frey was allowed a free header from Bradley’s free kick, but the French defender still could not get it on target.
Maxi Moralez was furious when shoved off the ball in the penalty area by Bostjan Cesar who, twice the size of him, send the shortest player in Serie A flying. Denis horribly wasted a great chance with a header into the ground off target.
Tempers were frayed and a scuffle broke out with furious Atalanta players surrounding the referee when he failed to award a corner.
Atalanta did take the lead with a wonderful goal by Maxi Moralez, his first scored at the Stadio Azzurri d’Italia. Schelotto burst down the right on the counter and did well to pull back for an unmarked Moralez, whose right-foot curler smashed in off the inside of the far post. Denis had drawn two defenders away, leaving space for his teammate.
Raimondi got to the by-line by dribbling past two defenders, but Bonaventura nodded over when anticipating the goalkeeper at the near post.
Chievo were still in the game and five minutes from time Thereau’s glancing header went wide.
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