Atalanta had to settle for just the four goals as they got their 2020/21 campaign up and running with a 4-2 win away at Torino on Saturday afternoon, again proving their unmatched ability to come from behind to take all three points.
Captain Alejandro Papu Gomez was instrumental for La Dea, orchestrating everything as he ended the game with a goal and two assists, though he could have had more had his teammates shown more ruthlessness in front of goal.
Some Bergamo residents would have been celebrating the game’s opener, though it wasn’t an Atalanta player who got it as Bergamasco Andrea Belotti slotted home a fine finish after moving into a gaping hole in La Dea’s defence.
Toro didn’t lead for long though as Papu Gomez fired home an excellent leveller two minutes later. Finding space between the lines, the No.10 moved towards the area and sent a low shot in off Salvatore Sirigu’s bottom left-hand post.
Gomez soon reverted to his usual business of loading ammunition for his teammates and last season’s leader of assists had his first of 2020/21 midway through the half.
Moments after setting up Robin Gosens for a chance the German disappointingly sent over, the captain sent Luis Muriel in on the right of the box and the Colombian, as he tends to, found an unlikely angle for an early shot that went across goal and into the far bottom corner.
Hans Hateboer was the next to benefit from Gomez’s otherworldly playmaking abilities. Papu, again sitting between Torino’s defence and midfield, floated a ball over to the right that the Dutchman arrived to meet and pass into Sirigu’s top corner.
Belotti reduced the deficit almost immediately. A cross from the right evaded Simone Zaza and, with Atalanta’s defenders switched off, Il Gallo pounced to head past Marco Sportiello.
Hateboer should have restored the visitors’ two-goal cushion early in the second half when he was found unmarked at the back post but the wing-back headed off target when he looked certain to score.
His blushes were spared by his compatriot Marten de Roon within a minute though. Muriel laid the ball off for De Roon who arrived, opened up his body and dispatched a well-taken first-time finish into the bottom corner with his left foot.
Ruslan Malinovskyi was introduced for Muriel in the second half and he almost made an immediate impact but his headed effort was straight at Sirigu.
The win sees Atalanta open three consecutive campaigns with a victory for the first time in their history, having beaten SPAL away in 2019/20’s opening round and Frosinone at home in the first game of 2018/19.
Torino, meanwhile, have now lost their first two games of a Serie A season for the first time since 2002/03 under Giancarlo Camolese.