Mario Pasalic helped Atalanta record their fourth consecutive Serie A win with a hat-trick, Josip Ilicic and Luis Muriel on inspirational assist form.
Fresh from an away victory against Juventus, Atalanta secured a win that put them firmly in the Scudetto race.
The match got into the thick of it within the first minute as Gianluca Busio within 19 seconds unleashed a screamer from a distance that Juan Musso had to palm over the bar.
The host during a moment of magic broke the deadlock. Josip Ilicic threaded his slide-rule pass through a sea of legs for Mario Pasalic to sweep home.
Having nutmegged Tanner Tessmann during the first goal, Pasalic got his second of the night five minutes later from another well-worked move. After receiving the pass from Ilicic, Pasalaic completed a give-and-go with Luis Muriel to burst into the box and score from 10 yards.
Musso was again called into action when he went down quickly for a great one-handed save on Thomas Henry.
After controlling a ball over the top and firing a daisy-cutter, then smothered Tessmann’s strike.
In the open game where substitute Crnigoj tested Musso, Sergio Romero and Mattia Caldara combined to prevent Pasalic from completing his hat-trick on another magnificent Ilicic assist through the eye of a needle.
Atalanta got the third from another quick passing move, finalised by Teun Koopmeiners. He buried the ball inside the net with a precise low first-time drive from the D into the bottom corner.
Muriel couldn’t make it 4-0 soon after as his shot thumped the base of the near post. The Colombia striker burst down the left, turned Ethan Ampadu inside out before releasing a pullback from the by-line for Pasalic to complete his hat-trick.
Aleksei Miranchuk couldn’t score the fifth as he cut inside to drill just past the post.
In other games played yesterday, Florentina defeated Sampdoria 3-1, Verona and Cagilari played out a 0-0 draw, and Juventus won 0-2 away to Salernitana.
Written by: Oladipupo Mojeed