Serie A Match of the Round – Lazio vs Atalanta

Games are often described as tales of two halves in any sport, but what went down in Lazio-Atalanta pushed the concept to the extreme. The Goddess completely dominated in the first 45 minutes and deservedly built a three-nothing lead. However, after intermission, the Biancocelesti little by little clawed back into the game, riding the white hot Ciro Immobile, and earned themselves a point.Gian Piero Gasperini picked Hans Hateboer in the recurrent duel with Timothy Castagne, gave Marten De Roon a bit of rest by starting Mario Pasalic and made a surprising choice up front, selecting Ruslan Malinovskyi over Josip Ilicic. Simone Inzaghi stuck to his guns as per usual and the only change compared to the standard XI was Marco Parolo replacing the suspended Lucas Leiva in the centre of the midfield. Adam Marusic relieved Manuel Lazzari at the last moment since the ex-SPAL man was not feeling well.

The Orobici came out guns blazing and could have scored right away, but Pasalic did not coordinate properly on a would-be tap-in on a great square ball by Hateboer. After 23 minutes, Robin Gosens vigorously cut back inside from the left flank, threaded the needle for Luis Muriel in the box and the striker slotted it home in the bottom right corner after two quality touches with his right foot. Five minutes later, the Colombian international doubled the lead as a free-kick from long range that was meant to be a low cross was not deflected by anybody but still surprised Thomas Strakosha.

The goalie did instead put his hands later on a vicious free kick by Malinovskyi. The guests put the finishing touches on a perfect first half at the 37th minute, as Rafael Toloi forestalled Joaquin Correa near mid-field on a lousy pass by Luis Alberto and sprung Alejandro Gomez loose with a through ball and El Papu finished with aplomb in the one-on-one.

Inzaghi trotted out Danilo Cataldi and Patric for Parolo and Adam Marusic after halt time, but the Eagles finally started responding through their centre-pieces. Correa waltzed past Toloi on a deep run, but sent it wide in front of the goalie. Same destiny for Ciro Immobile on a slide rule pass in the box by Alberto.

At the 69th minute, the Italian striker was clipped in the box by José-Luis Palomino and converted the subsequent penalty. Just a minute later, Correa wiggled past the back-line on a flick-on after a longball and this did put it on goal with a marvellous strike.

Lazio kept knocking on the door, but Pierluigi Gollini superbly denied them twice, first on a curled shot from distance by Alberto and then on a header on a corner kick. Inzaghi went all in by inserting Felipe Caicedo and was saved by Strakosha, who denied Gomez coming out beautifully on a quick counter.

The Eagles got their wishes granted in the stoppage time, as Immobile ingeniously drew another penalty in a collision with Marten De Roon and scored again, even though Gollini came close to intercepting it.

With this result, Atalanta lose some ground compared to Juventus and Inter and now Napoli are right behind them in the standings. Lazio instead stay just outside of the top six and continue to have troubles building steam.

In the fantasy game, Immobile racked up nine points since he was credited with an assist on top of bagging a brace, one fewer point for Luis Muriel, while the other scorers, Gomez and Correa, gathered four. Robin Gosens earned two thanks to an assist.

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