By Jerry Mancini.
Though Lazio started their Serie A season in promising fashion by defeating Cagliari, they were brought back down to earth on Wednesday evening, conceding three goals in quick succession in the first half and eventually losing 4-1 to Atalanta.
Within the first ten minutes, Adam Marusic and Ciro Immobile each had quality chances they couldn’t finish. Moments later, Atalanta made Lazio pay for those missed opportunities as Robin Gosens opened the scoring.
Although Lazio had 61% of the possession and created more attempts on goal (14-10), it was La Dea’s ability to be clinical and decisive that made the difference. Atalanta followed up their opener with two more goals, from Hans Hans Hateboer and Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gómez, which saw Lazio down 3-0 at half time.
Felipe Caicedo pulled one back for the home side following a beautiful crisp pass from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. The Ecuadorian, left all alone in the box, rounded goalkeeper Marco Sportiello to make it 3-1.
Moments after Lazio’s first goal, Immobile had a golden opportunity to cut the lead to 3-2 in a one-on-one versus Sportiello. The striker went to his left and tried to get around the goalkeeper, but his shot only found the side-netting.
A squandered opportunity once again haunted Lazio as minutes after Immobile’s missed chance, Atalanta made sure of the points. Gómez scored his second of the night with a great individual effort to beat Patric and strike past Thomas Strakosha who had no chance to make the save.
“It was an extraordinary goal,” Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini said of Papu Gómez’s strike. “He is someone who play absolutely anywhere and has reached his peak now.
“Papu works hard, but in the decisive moments of a match, he is able to give that extra spot of creativity that helps us bring results home.”
Atalanta made the most of their breaks and converted on their limited chances, while Lazio wasted away their opportunities.
“The lads played their game, we just failed to step up in the decisive moments of the match,” Inzaghi told Sky Italia.
“We wasted a chance at 0-0 and another when we were two down, without forgetting the Ciro Immobile opportunity that hit the side-netting.
“The 4-1 result is not a fair reflection of the game, as Lazio had 10 attempts on goal and scored once, whereas Atalanta scored four out of five.”
It was nonetheless a brave effort from Lazio who should keep their heads high after falling to an opponent who have come so far and proven to be one of the best sides in the league.
Atalanta are a serious contender for the Scudetto and shouldn’t be taken lightly. After their first two matches this season, they have outscored their opponents 8-3. Lazio will now turn their attention to Inter Milan in their upcoming match Sunday which will be no easy task.