Serie A Match of the Round – Inter vs Atalanta

A ridiculously busy round featured three top-notch matches between teams in the upper echelon of the table: the most entertaining one of the lot ended up being Saturday Night’s Inter-Atalanta.

Both clubs came into the game in strong form, as the Biscione won pretty easily in the last two games versus Genoa and Napoli, while the Goddess had prevailed in four of the previous five fixtures and were coming off two straight five-nil routs.

Antonio Conte re-introduced Stefano Sensi in the lineup, pairing him with Roberto Gagliardini and Marcelo Brozovic in the midfield since Matias Vecino was banged up. Diego Godin got the nod with Milan Skriniar suspended, while Stefan De Vrij and Lautaro Martinez returned. Gian Piero Gasperini quite surprisingly picked Duvan Zapata over Luis Muriel from the jump, deployed Mario Pasalic over Remo Freuler and selected the more defensive Hans Hateboer on the right flank.

The match broke open right away Romelu Lukaku hit the post from the edge of the box away muscling his way through defenders few seconds after kick-off. At the fourth minute, Martinez and Lukaku combined centrally, El Toro outmanoeuvred José Palomino and rifled it home with a daisy-cutter.

Five minutes late, Pasalic scampered unabatedly centrally but he put his shot wide right. At the 15th minute, Zapata was allowed to head the ball without much contest, but his attempt was too weak. Five minutes later, Martinez shook free on the base line and tried to chip it towards the middle, but a defender cleared it before it could get to Lukaku for a tap-in.

In a controversial episode at the end of the first half, Rafael Toloi did not coordinate properly to nudge it home from point-blank range in a scrum following a corner kick as Martinez seemingly grabbed his leg while he was falling to the ground after a slight push by Zapata, but the referee and the VAR did not intervene.

Ruslan Malinovskyi subbed in for the Colombian forward and hit the post with a splendid strike ten minutes into the second half. The Orobici continued pressing the issue and finally equalized at the 75th minute as, after a pair of bounces in the box, Robin Gosens was more alert than Antonio Candreva and tucked it home with a crafty touch.

With five minutes to go, Alejandro Gomez rattled the bar with a thunderbolt from great position, then Brozovic answered on the other end with a volley, but Pierluigi Gollini saved it. The guest had the chance to win it as they were awarded a penalty after a collision between Malinovsky and Alessandro Bastoni, but Samir Handanovic guessed right and rejected Muriel in brilliant fashion.

The Beneamata ceded the top spot to Juventus, while the Bergamaschi caught Roma in fourth position. In the fantasy game, the scorers Martinez and Gosens grabbed four points, while Lukaku two for the assist.

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