The most exhilarating game of the weekend was probably the back and forth between Genoa and Fiorentina, but since it was already thoroughly broken down by Chloe here, let’s dive into another pretty amusing one: Lazio-Atalanta, which was also one of the few fixtures where there was something at stake for both teams.
The two clubs arrived at this game in high spirits, riding three-game winning streaks. Simone Inzaghi had the task of replacing his injured star Ciro Immobile and picked the easiest fix, the backup Felipe Caicedo. After some gamesmanship in the pre-game presser, Gian Piero Gasperini fielded both Remo Freuler and Bryan Cristante, kept Josip Ilicic on the bench and chose José-Luis Palomino for the suspended Mattia Caldara.
The Orobici started vehemently, with Marten De Roon feeding Musa Barrow between two defenders with a through ball and the youngster finishing with aplomb in front of the goalie. The guests kept coming, but the Biancocelesti levelled the game pretty much out of the blue twenty minutes later, with Sergej Milinkovic-Savic finding Luis Alberto deep in the box with a lob and the Spaniard delivering a square ball to Caicedo for an extremely easy score. It was Alberto’s 14 assist this season, a Serie A record.
The Eagles gained some momentum and came close to scoring again, first with a header from distance by Caicedo, then with a long-range attempt by Stefan De Vrij. However, the insertion of Josip Ilicic swung the bout in the Goddess’ favour, paired with Alberto exiting the game before half time with an injury.
The Slovenian immediately connected with Remo Freuler in the box, but Thomas Strakosha miraculously parried away the robust try. Then another point-blank chance was thwarted by a last-ditch effort by Bastos: Ilicic set up Robin Gosens with a low cross through the six-feet box, but the defender sandbagged his conclusion. Atalanta had the final two big chances of the game: Strakosha again denied a sliding attempt by Alejandro Gomez from in close, then De Vrij got in the way of the tap in by Hans Hateboer. Finally, a header by Palomino whistled past the post.
Lazio’s lead over Inter in the Champions League race was trimmed to just two points, which is not ideal with the head-to-head clash coming up in the final round. Atalanta were surpassed by Milan, while Fiorentina are now two points behind them.
The game was wild, but rather unproductive from the fantasy standpoint: De Roon was the only one to grab points for Atalanta, two, while Lazio’s Felipe Caicedo and Luis Alberto gained four and two respectively.
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