Atalanta recorded a confidence boosting 4-1 victory over Empoli at the Stadio Carlo Castellani in Serie A on Sunday afternoon, ahead of their Champions League clash with Premier League side Manchester United.
La Dea dominated large periods of the game and were 2-1 ahead with Josip Ilicic scoring a brace and Federico Di Francesco responding for the Azzurri, but an own goal from Mattia Viti and a late strike from Duvan Zapata highlighted the gulf in class between the sides.
Musso 6; Toloi 6 (39’ Freuler 6), Demiral 7, Palomino 6; Zappacosta 6 (90’ Pezzella n/r), De Roon 6, Koopmeiners 6.5 (68’ Lovato 6), Maehle 6; Ilicic 7.5 (68’ Malinovskiy 6), Pasalic 6.5, Muriel 6 (46’ Zapata 6.5)
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – JOSIP ILICIC
The Slovenian set the visitors on the road to victory on 10 minutes with an excellently worked one-two with Mario Pasalic leaving the attacker stroking the ball into an empty net. Shortly afterwards Ilicic exchanged passes with Luis Muriel, before curling a first-time shot into the top corner, but missed the chance of a hat-trick when missing a second-half penalty.