Atalanta beat Benevento 2-0 at Bergamo’s Gewiss Stadium on Wednesday evening to move back into second in Serie A and leave them needing just three points from their last two games to secure Champions League qualification.
It was another night on which Atalanta’s Colombians played important roles, as Luis Muriel scored and Duvan Zapata assisted Mario Pasalic for La Dea’s second, with the Croatian’s goal sealing the points for the hosts.
Gian Piero Gasperini’s side were expectedly dominant in the first half, with the relegation-threatened Benevento struggling to take the ball away from their hosts.
Despite dominating the possession, Atalanta didn’t carve out too many clear-cut chances before a gorgeous piece of play saw Ruslan Malinovskyi provide a perfect through ball for Muriel who, as he tends to, caught goalkeeper Lorenzo Montipo off guard by shooting early, prodding home with a rather unorthodox finish by using the underside of his boot.
That was the be where the scoring finished until the 67th minute when Muriel’s compatriot Zapata found substitute Pasalic. The No.91 squared, Aleksej Miranchuk cleverly stepped over the ball and the Croatian arrived, took a touch to send Montipo the wrong way, and tapped into the corner from close range.
Benevento’s night was made worse when Luca Caldirola, wearing the captain’s armband, left an elbow on Zapata’s face and was given his second yellow card within 90 seconds, much to Filippo Inzaghi’s annoyance.
The win allows Atalanta to reclaim second spot with just two games left, knowing that just three more points will be enough to secure a place in next seasons’ Champions League.
Benevento, meanwhile, stay in the relegation zone and four points adrift.