Atalanta vs. Lazio: final score 2-1; Atalanta with third consecutive win against an out of form Lazio

Maurizio Lagana

Atalanta didn't play all that well, but were able to punish Lazio for their lack of ideas in the final third and attention at the back.

This game was, let's be honest, extremely boring until 35th minute. Lazio held the ball, supposedly trying to score, but doing nothing really except shooting (badly) from distance. Atalanta sat back and used counter attacks to threaten Lazio, but in those few times they did manage to break, the biancocelesti caught them with an offside trap.

Lazio's main man, "El profeta" Hernanes, continued his poor run of form, while summer signing Felipe Anderson looked as though he'd taken lessons from his compatriot. As for Atalanta, they left German Denis alone against the Lazio defenders, rendering him largely ineffective.

Then Atalanta decided to up the pace a little, and chances came immediately. Federico Marchetti made a great save on Giacomo Bonaventura's shot from some 13 meters, after Cristiano Del Grosso crossed the ball from the left side. In the 39th minute, Maxi Moralez chipped the ball over Marchetti, but Luis Pedro Cavanda cleared the ball from the line. Only a minute later, Atalanta had another opportunity, with Gianpaolo Bellini's shot from outside the box. Atalanta's short but total domination in those minutes finally resulted in a goal in the 41st, when Luca Cigarini's great shot from 20 meters proved impossible for Marchetti to save.

At the start of the second half, Vladimir Petkovic replaced the invisible Felipe Anderson, with Antonio Candreva, yet Lazio still couldn't create anything substantial in front of Atalanta's goal. But despite their performance, Lazio equalized at 52nd minute when Senad Lulic dribbled past Bellini and crossed the ball to Brayan Perea. The forward didn't control it well, but thanks to the slow reaction of the orobici defense, he had plenty of time to get it in the back of the net.

The game lapsed back into dullness until the 84th minute, when Denis punished Lazio's defense for a badly applied offside trap. Lazio had spent the past half hour attacking, keeping their defense high up the pitch. When the visitors tried to catch Denis offside, Lorik Cana wasn't quick enough and kept the Argentine. The veteran had no problems rounding Marchetti and scoring what would prove the winning goal for the nerazzurri.

That win is Atalanta's third in a row and their fourth at home this season, and they now sit higher than both Lazio and Milan in the table. The losers, however, are caught in a downward spiral. One point from four away matches, 13 points behind rivals Roma and 8 behind the Champions League spots. Most importantly, Lazio just aren't playing well. Vladimir Petkovic must find a way to turn things around, or he might find himself being shown the exit.

Atalanta (4-4-1-1) - Consigli; Bellini, Stendardo, Lucchini (Yepes 56'), Del Grosso; Raimondi, Cigarini, Carmona, Bonaventura (Brienza 69'); Moralez (Baselli 83'); Denis

Goals: Luca Cigarini 42', German Denis 84'

Lazio (4-2-3-1) - Marchetti; Cavanda, Ciani, Cana, Lulic; Onazi, Biglia; Hernanes (Klose 79'), Felipe Anderson Candreva 46'), Floccari Keita 69'); Perea

Goals: Perea 52'

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