Juventus
    26.09.2014 13:49 - in: Serie A S

    Atalanta’s start to Serie A

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    A win, draw and two defeats sees the Nerazzurri approach tomorrow’s clash with Massimiliano Allegri’s men in 11th position

    Atalanta began the 2014/15 campaign by sharing the spoils in a goalless draw with last season’s surprise package Hellas Verona in Bergamo.

    The visitors commanded the better chances throughout the encounter but lacked killer instinct in the final third, while the Nerazzurri, restricted to a handful of opportunities on the counter, appeared content to settle for a point after defending deep for long spells of the second half.

    All three from a tricky game against Cagliari, where Atalanta had previously picked up just two wins in 27 games, then followed thanks to goals from Marcelo Estigarribia and Richmond Boakye.

    The winger shot the visitors in front inside the opening four minutes, cushioning Boukary Drame's delivery before dispatching a right-footed volley beyond Simone Colombi.

    One became two midway through the second period when Ghanaian frontman Boakye gathered the ball in space and drilled a powerful strike into the back of the net.

    Cagliari midfielder Andrea Cossu’s converted penalty three minutes from time set up a grandstand finish, but a combination of stern defending and Marco Sportiello saves enabled the Nerazzurri to hold on for their first win of the season.

    However, their unbeaten start to the campaign came to an end in their following game, with second-half substitute Jasmin Kurtic claiming all three points for Fiorentina at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia.

    Picking the ball up outside the box on 58 minutes, the midfielder, on loan from Sassuolo, weaved his way towards goal before firing an effort between two defenders that crept inside the post to give the visitors a deserved lead.

    In the final ten minutes, Atalanta launched a late assault on the Viola goal but saw their best opportunity, Boyake’s toe-poke towards goal from a matter of yards, cannon back off the upright.

    It was to prove a similar story in their latest encounter against Inter at the San Siro, where the hosts collected their second win of the season courtesy of goals either side of half-time.

    The signs looked ominous from the start and after Rodrigo Palacio saw his spot kick saved by Sportiello on the half-hour mark, Inter finally got the goal their early efforts merited five minutes later.

    Dani Osvaldo was the man on target, finding the back of the net with a spectacular acrobatic effort for his third strike since swapping the Premier League for Serie A in the summer.

    More one-way traffic followed after the break but an opportunity to level matters did fall in Atalanta’s favour against the run of play, Estigarribia nodding wide from a promising position with 20 minutes remaining.

    They were ultimately left to rue this missed occasion as, with three minutes left to play, Hernanes stepped up to curl a fine free-kick beyond Sportiello to condemn the visitors to their second consecutive defeat without scoring.

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