An experimental Atalanta XI sealed all three points against Hellas Verona with a 2-0 win at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi in Sunday’s early afternoon kick off.
Two first-half goals for La Dea, through Ruslan Malinovskyi and Duvan Zapata, proved enough to see off I Mastini.
The first chance fell with around a quarter of an hour played, as a Malinovskyi freekick found Cristian Romero’s head. It took a good stop from Marco Silvestri to keep the Argentine out.
Zapata was proving to be a nightmare for Verona from early on, and Matteo Lovato struggled to get to grips with the No.91. The Colombian forced his way through the Verona defence before being denied by Silvestri.
Atalanta deservedly took the lead from the penalty spot. Malinovskyi sent Silvestri the wrong way to make it 1-0 in the 33rd minute.
A combination between Matteo Pessina and the Duvan saw the visitors come close again before half time. It ended with the Colombian seeing his deflected shot hit the post as the score remained unchanged.
Zapata expectedly doubled the lead soon after, though. Malinovskyi headed towards the striker who again, exploiting his physical superiority, swatted the defence aside and sent an expertly finished shot past Silvestri.
Substitutes Luis Muriel and Josip Ilicic came close for Atalanta in the second half, while Cristian Romero had a goal ruled out, but Pierluigi Gollini had a quiet afternoon at the other end.
The win leaves Atalanta fourth, level on points with Juventus in third and five clear of both Napoli and Roma behind them. Juventus and Napoli have two games in hand.