Atalanta-Empoli 2-1: Hojlund brings the Nerazzurri back to victory
Hojlund will take care of reviving Atalanta and putting them back in the running for a place in the Champions League. The Dane, thrown into the fray by Gasperini 11' from the end, scored the winning goal (2-1) in the 86th minute against a never tamed Empoli who long dreamed of a coup after taking the lead in the first half with Ebuehi. The orobics thus return to smile after having scraped together just one point in the last 4 days. The Tuscans, now in their fifth consecutive defeat, recriminate instead for having wasted twice in the start of the second half with Caputo the doubling goal that would probably have written another story.
Ebuhei freezes the Gewiss Stadium
The race was anything but simple. Gasperini had hinted at his choices already on the eve, then confirmed with the starting eleven: Zapata-Muriel supported by Pasalic. Zanetti instead relied on the usual 4-3-1-2 with Baldanzi on the trocar and Grassi in the control room. Atalanta's approach was furious: 1' was enough to see the first opportunity: Pasalic tried to turn from the height of the spot, but the ball went high. Then (3') De Roon thought of committing Perisan. From that moment on, the Nerazzurri started delivering balls to the Tuscan area without finding any openings. Pasalic, on two occasions, and Zapata came close to taking the lead, but it was Empoli who got ahead: on a lucky rebound in the area: in the 44th minute it was Ebuehi who broke the deadlock at the Gewiss Stadium.
De Roon and Hojlund reverse the result
A cold shower for the Nerazzurri, who were also blocked in the second half: the double chance not exploited by Caputo was a slap in the face for the Nerazzurri who had the strength to find an equalizer in the 58th minute with De Roon, who entered Ruggeri's cross with the right timing . After the 1-1 there was only one team on the field, with Gasperini's band pushing until they found a 2-1 with Hojlund, who came on for Zapata: a lightning turn in the small area, unstoppable for Perisan. In the final, Gasperini's team also looked for the third goal, but Perisan put his gloves on both Lookman and Hojlund.
ATALANTA 2-1 (0-1) EMPOLI
Atalanta (3-4-1-2): Musso; Toloi, Palomino, Scalvini (31st Lookman); Zappacosta (44'st Maehle), De Roon, Ederson, Ruggeri; Pasalic (44'st Demiral), Muriel (34'st Boga), Zapata (34'st Hojlund). On the bench: Rossi, Sportiello, Okoli, Colombo, Chiwisa, Soppy. Coach: Gasperini.
Empoli (4-3-1-2): Perisan; Ebuehi, DeWinter, Luperto, Parisi; Akpa Apro (24'st Henderson), Grassi (14'st Ismajli, 34'st Walukiewicz), Fazzini (14'st Bandinelli); Baldanzi (24'st Haas); Satriano, Caputo. On the bench: Ujkani, Stubljar, Cacace, Pjaca, Marin, Destro, Tonelli, Stojanovic, Vignato, Piccoli. Coach: Zanetti.
Referee: Dionysus of L'Aquila.
Networks: 44'pt Ebuehi, 13'st De Roon, 41'st Hojlund.
Ammonite yourself: Henderson, Lookman, Bandinelli, Palomino, Ruggeri.
Corners: 13-2 for Atalanta.
Recovery: 2' pt, 6' st.