STADIO ARTEMIO FRANCHI (Florence) – Atalanta bought themselves some breathing room in fourth place on Saturday as they fought from behind to win 2-1 at Fiorentina.
Roma’s loss at home to Bologna – who were led to victory by ex-Atalanta forward Musa Barrow – on Friday presented the Bergamaschi with an opportunity that they didn’t pass up and they now hold a three point lead over the Giallorossi and occupy Serie A’s final Champions League place.
Federico Chiesa had opened the scoring before Duvan Zapata and Ruslan Malinovskyi both bagged in the second half to seal the points for the Nerazzurri.
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The hosts came under pressure first and Mario Pasalic should really have opened the scoring early on. A fine Atalanta move ended with the Croatian finding space inside the area but he sent his shot wide while trying to pick out the bottom corner.
Chiesa gave La Viola the advantage with half an hour played, firing a fine low strike out of Pierluigi Gollini’s reach.
Atalanta didn’t react well to going behind though and Pasalic was denied by being crowded out when approaching Bartlomiej Dragowski before the break.
Their front three combined quickly after the restart to level things up though. Fiorentina’s ex Josip Ilicic slipped a ball through to Alejandro Gomez who dinked an effort over Dragowski.
The Pole did well to get a hand on it, but it fell at the feet of Zapata who grabbed his eighth goal in 13 Serie A appearances this season.
Gollini’s goal was threatened again soon after though. Chiesa broke on the right and teased a cross inside the six-yard box that somehow rolled all the way out the other side and, even after wrong-footing Timothy Castagne, it evaded Gaetano Castrovilli.
Pasalic and Robin Gosens each dragged efforts wide before Chiesa worked Gollini in front of the Curva Fiesole.
Gian Piero Gasperini brought on Malinovskyi as Atalanta upped the pressure and it was the Ukrainian who gave the visitors the lead from nowhere.
Gathering the ball some way from goal, he was allowed venture forward without being pressed and he accepted the invitation to shoot, picking out the bottom corner from 25 yards.