Beppe Iachini trotted out a largely expected lineup, with Christian Kouame the only surprise. Gian Piero Gasperini played a 4-3-1-1 with Rafael Toloi at right back, a shape we haven’t seen much of from La Dea in recent years.
In a word, atrocious. Duvan Zapata scored twice, with German Pezzella looking lost with the second. The Viola were lucky not to have conceded four or five. Maybe the worst half of calcio I’ve seen from the club since the first half in Bergamo last December.
Dusan Vlahovic showed once again why he’s one of the best young players in Europe by scoring a brace to tie the match. His first was a clean half-volley after a great pass from Martin Caceres, and the second came from a quality Christian Kouame dribble.
However, a Lucas Martinez Quarta handball immediately gave Atalanta a penalty, which Josip Ilicic converted to help La Dea regain the lead and eventually win the match. The only real constant was questionable refereeing, even by Serie A standards Juan Luca Sacchi was woeful.
Fiorentina continue to be mired in lower-level mediocrity in 16th place, with relegation still lingering in the background. Worryingly, only Torino remain as a buffer between the Viola and the drop, and the Granata are just three points behind with a match in hand. Fiorentina are eight points clear of Cagliari in 18th, but are still going to need at least another five or six points to feel comfortable. The Viola will take on Sassuolo next Saturday where they will hope to rebound or risk dropping even closer to relegation.
For Atalanta, the win keeps La Dea in the Champions League spots ahead of Napoli, which they will hope to secure for the third season running. It will be a fascinating finish to see who can clinch 2nd through fourth to cap off this season.