Atalanta Bergamo failed their dress rehearsal for the Europa League quarter-finals against Leipzig and suffered a setback in the Serie A. Napoli, on the other hand, are still in contention for the Scudetto.
Scudetto candidates Napoli won 3-1 at Atalanta Bergamo on Sunday afternoon to draw level on points with league leaders Milan (against Bologna on Monday evening). However, coach Luciano Spalletti’s team had to fight for the win until the final stages.
The first half initially belonged to SSC. Atalanta were committed, had more possession and optical advantages, but were rarely dangerous on the offensive. Two moments were enough for Napoli to take a 2-0 lead at the break: After Atalanta keeper Musso had pushed Mertens away in the 11th minute, a penalty was awarded after VAR intervention, which captain Insigne converted safely (15th). Napoli left the ball and space to Bergamo, but thanks to an aggressive defence they had everything under control and added to their tally before the break with a wonderful free kick trick: Instead of shooting from a central position, Insigne lofted the ball over the Atalanta wall into the penalty area, where Politano finished brilliantly with a volley (37th).
De Roon gives hope – Elmas decides the game
With the start of the second half, however, the northern Italians took more and more control of the game. This was also due to the fact that the Neapolitans, with the lead behind them, were too passive and lacked the aggressiveness of the first half. The punishment for this came in the 58th minute, when de Roon was free to head in a sensitive cross from substitute Miranchuk.
From then on, the game was on fire – Bergamo in particular now believed they could turn the game around and pressed for an equaliser. Miranchuk had a chance to make it 2:2 in the 71st minute, but Mario Rui saved in the nick of time. And in the 77th minute, Boga had the goal on his lips, but SSC keeper Ospina acrobatically saved for a corner.
And so it came to pass, as it so often does: In the 81st minute, Napoli launched the first impressive counterattack, Lozano crossed to Elmas, who kept his cool in front of Musso and made it 3:1. The decision was made, Napoli took the victory over time, Bergamo had nothing more to do.