An impressive second half allowed Atalanta to stroll to a 5-1 win over bottom-placed Crotone at the Gewiss Stadium on Wednesday evening, recording a fourth straight win for the first time this season.
It looked like Crotone were in for a long night when Robin Gosens headed Atalanta ahead as early as the 12th minute. Josip Ilicic worked the space for an inswinging cross that the German met to head past Alex Cordaz, getting his ninth for the Serie A season and scoring for the third straight game.
But Atalanta’s troubles against the lesser sides showed themselves again. Luis Muriel had a couple of chances denied by Cordaz, and then a calamitous mixup between Cristian Romero and Remo Freuler allowed Simy Nwankwo to get clear and lift an equaliser over Marco Sportiello.
Ruslan Malinovskyi had two chances go begging, and a sloppy pass from Ilicic set Junior Messias through at the other end, but Sportiello did well to keep him out.
As only they can, though, Atalanta came out flying after the break and scored three times in 12 second-half minutes.
First, Jose Luis Palomino bundled a loose ball in from close range on the end of a corner, then Muriel got his goal, taking advantage of an untimely slip in the Crotone backline to finish from right in front of goal.
Ilicic then got in on the act himself with a trademark strike. Finding a pocket of space on the edge of the area, the Slovenian whipped an inch-perfect effort into Cordaz’s top corner.
Cordaz did well to deny both Ilicic and substitute Duvan Zapata, but could do little to prevent Aleksey Miranchuk from adding a fifth late on, as the Russian placed an effort in off the inside of the post.