Atalanta defeated Roma to create a logjam of teams vying for European spots in Serie A. The 3-1 win over Jose Mourinho’s Roma kept Atalanta’s bid of getting back into European competition alive. La Dea entered the game in seventh, five points behind Inter Milan. Roma, on the other hand, was level with Milan but could jump back out to a three-point edge over Milan.
At the end of the day, Atalanta is still in seventh, but it is just two points back of Inter’s Europa Conference League spot. Roma, on the other hand, is back to fifth based on goal differential. Worse off, it was a goalkeeper error that temporarily bumps Jose Mourinho’s side out of the Champions League spots.
Atalanta takes opportunities against Roma in crucial Serie A battle
Looking strictly at the statistics, Roma dominated the game. More possession, more total shots, more Atalanta fouls and yellow cards and simply cleaner play from Roma. However, what Roma could not do was provide clear chances and opportunities. That is what Atalanta excelled at on the day.
Roma fired a total of 14 shots toward Marco Sportiello in the Atalanta net. Only one was on target, and that was how Roma found its lone goal through Lorenzo Pellegrini.
Before then, though, Atalanta was clinical in its few chances on net. A terrific finish from Mario Pašalić against the run of play put Atalanta up on the night just five minutes from halftime. Then, in the 74th minute, Rafael Tolói doubled Atalanta’s advantage. A scramble off an Atalanta corner, and some poor defending from Roma, led to a Rui Patricio save. Yet, the rebound found Tolói, who got enough power on his right-footed shot that Roma defenders could not keep it out.
As stated, Pellegrini was able to find one back for the visitors with a pretty team move from the back to the front. The Italian then lashed the ball to the left-hand side of Sportiello. Any chance of a comeback on the night shattered just a minute later. A fairly harmless move forward from Atalanta led to Rui Patricio coming out to claim the ball. The Portuguese failed to command the ball, as it flipped up to Teun Koopmeiners. Koopmeiners wasted no time and fired a shot with power into the gaping Roma net.
Roma did hit the post late on, but it was never going to be enough to come back from two goals down with five minutes to play in the 90. Atalanta picked up the massive win at home, 3-1.
Serie A heating up
The remaining seven games in the Serie A season could yield a variety of results. Lazio has something of a cushion in second, as it is five points ahead of Milan in fourth. Then, Juventus is third, but its spiral of form with three-straight losses could make anything happen. Over the next seven matchdays, the teams placed third to seventh play each other five times.
Our Pick:Includes: Champions League, Europa League, Serie A, NWSL, Argentine Primera, Brasileirão, Scottish Premiership, Women's Super League, & More
The highlight of the remaining schedule is the penultimate round on May 28. Juventus hosts Milan in a potential bid for top four. At the same time, Inter welcomes Atalanta. Right now, both of those teams are on the outside looking in on top four and the Europa League.
PHOTO: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire
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