REPORT | Atalanta 2-1 Roma

Atalanta have defeated Roma 2-1 in a huge Serie A Sunday night battle for Champions League qualification.

Two early corners for Atalanta almost saw them earn a dream start to this game, but two chances went begging and Roma were able to settle into their visit to Bergamo.

Not for long though, despite the game seeming even and cagey for a while Atalanta took the league after 18 minutes and were 2-0 up after 20.

Belgian forward Charles De Ketelaere bagged a brace in no time and Roma heads dropped at once. The striker waltzed inside the defence to finish his first goal off with ease and the second was even more simple when his teammate Teun Koopmeiners put the ball on a plate for him to tap home.

CDK might have had a hat-trick in the first half too. A cheeky effort of his bounced off the post after he had pulled another strike just wide. Roma meanwhile, were just about hanging in there. A third for Atalanta would have been devastating.

Before the break Teun Koppmeiners smashed the post for the hosts. A lovely effort might have put the game to bed but Roma reached half time at 2-0 down so there was some hope of a comeback in the second period. It didn’t seem likely though, Atalanta were completely dominant in the first half and should have put the game to bed.

Tammy Abraham and Eduardo Bove emerged for the second period, replacing Tommaso Baldanzi and Leandro Paredes in the Roma team. Something needed to change for the visitors and perhaps the legs of Bove and presence of Abraham up top were the answer.

Despite Atalanta doing all the attacking again in the secon half, Roma would find a way back into the game with a Pellegrini penalty after 66 minutes. Tammy Abraham got a shot off and then was clipped by the defender, having said that, it was a soft call. One of those touches that always seems to happen as a player slides into block a shot.

This type of “foul” is usually ignored. Especially when the shot isn’t really affcted. Yet the penalty was given and Roma were back in the game at 2-1. The team from the capital began to believe they could take a result home, and began to press forward themselves.

Rome didn’t become protagonists from then on, not by any means, but for the first time all night they looked like they had a chance, and they even started to register one or two efforts on target.

The closing minutes of the game were frantic as Lukaku came close but Atalanta looked fierce on the break. In the end Atalanta were able to see out a massive victory.

Roma simply didn’t offer enough and now they sit behind Atalanta in the table by three points, and the Bergamo boys have a game in hand. It feels like the end of the road for Roma and their dream of playing in next season’s UEFA Champions League.

This result has confirmed that Bologna will play in the Champions League next season, but it has all but killed off Roma’s hopes of joining them there. Despite being busy with cup finals Atalanta only need four points from three more league games to confirm their place in the top five.

A poor effort from Roma on a night where they looked extremely jaded. Hosts Atalanta are still shining with the glow of a side on the verge of history. Next up for them is the Coppa Italia Final against Juventus.



Joseph O’Sullivan | GIFN

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