Atalanta were in no mood to pass up on the chance to go second in Serie A as they emphatically hammered Bologna 5-0 at the Gewiss Stadium on Sunday evening.
Ruslan Malinovskyi opened the scoring in the first half before Luis Muriel got a deserved goal of his own in a Man of the Match performance from the Colombian. Bologna went down to ten men in the second half before Remo Freuler, Duvan Zapata and Aleksej Miranchuk compounded their misery as La Dea were close to their scintillating best.
Despite an impressive quarter of an hour from Bologna, Atalanta had chances of their own and it was the hosts who struck first. Having gone close himself already, Luis Muriel showed some of his best footwork to flick a ball into the path of Ruslan Malinovskyi that the Ukrainian finished past Lukasz Skorupski.
The Colombian came close to adding a second almost immediately after. Again dazzling the Rossoblu backline with his quick feet, the No.9 found himself in on goal but was unlucky to see his effort come back off the post.
Malinovskyi curled one of his many shots wide before Muriel was wrestled to ground by Danilo for a penalty. Muriel stepped up himself and couldn’t have been cooler as he stared Skorupski down before passing into the Pole’s goal.
Jerdy Schouten was shown a straight red card early in the second half for a horribly high challenge into Cristian Romero’s leg, though the Argentine, fortunately, escaped relatively unscathed.
Muriel then weaved his way through Bologna’s defence again before firing a left-footed shot across Skorupski’s goal that deserved to find the bottom corner but instead flew past the far post.
Remo Freuler did add Atalanta’s third just before the hour mark. Driving his way beyond the visitors’ defence, he finished nicely into Skorupski’s bottom corner, leaving the goalkeeper going the other way.
The fourth came immediately, with Duvan Zapata becoming the fourth name on the scoresheet for La Dea. Malinovskyi twisted and turned in search for space in the box, but the ball was stolen off the No.18’s toe by Zapata who fired into the top corner.
Aleksej Miranchuk replaced the unplayable Muriel and grabbed a goal for himself just ten minutes later.
The win sees Atalanta move into second, taking advantage of Juventus’ 1-1 draw with Fiorentina earlier on Sunday. AC Milan can retake second place with a win away to Lazio on Monday evening.