Atalanta dent Lazio’s Serie A title hopes

BERGAMO, Jun 25 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 6/25/2020 9:29:56 AM IST

Jose Luis Palomino’s header 10 minutes from time completed a stunning turnaround as Atalanta came roaring back from two goals down to beat Lazio 3-2 on Wednesday and damage the Rome side’s Serie A title hopes.

An own goal by Marten De Roon put Lazio in front after five minutes and midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic soon picked up a loose ball just outside the area and curled in a brilliant effort to make it 2-0.

With some better finishing from Ciro Immobile, Lazio could have found themselves even further ahead at the break after some excellent counter-attacks, but in truth the early lead flattered the visitors.

As the first half wore on, Atalanta dominated possession with their slick passing, and Robin Gosens got Atalanta back into the game with a powerful header from Hans Hateboer’s cross just before halftime.

Having gone close to scoring with a bouncing first-half shot, Ruslan Malinovsky then struck a superb equaliser from outside the box midway through the second half as the home side turned the screw.

Lazio barely managed a chance of note in the second half as Atalanta poured forward looking for a winner that eventually came from a set piece.

Goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha seemed to misjudge the flight of the ball as Palomino’s header from Alejandro Gomez’s corner completed a brilliant comeback and handed Lazio their first league defeat since Sept. 25, ending an unbeaten run of 21 matches.

The comeback win left Atalanta fourth on 54 points after 27 games, six clear of fifth-placed Roma, who beat Sampdoria 2-1 at home. Second-placed Lazio stayed on 62 points, four behind leaders Juventus.

AS Roma beat Sampdoria 2-1

AS Roma forward Edin Dzeko scored two similar, superbly-taken goals to give his side a 2-1 win at home to struggling Sampdoria as they resumed their Serie A campaign following the coronavirus stoppage on Wednesday. Playing their first match since March 1, Roma fell behind after a misunderstanding in defence allowed Manolo Gabbiadini to pounce and score from a narrow angle.

Jordan Veretout thought he had levelled on the half hour with a long-range shot but VAR spotted a handball by Carles Perez in the buildup.

Roma took full control after the break and equalised in style. Lorenzo Pellegrini launched a ball over the Sampdoria defence and Dzeko, with his back to the ball, let it drop over his shoulder and volleyed past Emil Audero with his left foot.

Aleksandar Kolarov struck the foot of the post with a free kick for Roma before Dzeko repeated his trick.

This time, Bryan Cristante chipped a ball over the Sampdoria rearguard and the Bosnia forward, again with his back to the ball, turned it past Audero for his 14th league goal of the season.

Roma stayed fifth with 48 points from 27 games while Claudio Ranieri’s Sampdoria are 16th with 26, one point clear of the drop zone.


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