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The Scudetto: Free-scoring Atalanta fight back to dent Lazio title hopes

FOOTBALL By Reuters | June 25th 2020
Football - Serie A - Atalanta v Lazio - Stadio Atleti Azzurri, Bergamo, Italy - June 24, 2020. Lazio's Andre Anderson in action with Atalanta's Jose Luis Palomino, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). [REUTERS/Alberto Lingria]

Jose Luis Palomino’s header 10 minutes from time completed a stunning turnaround as Atalanta came roaring back from two goals down to beat Lazio 3-2 on Wednesday and damage the Rome side’s Serie A title hopes.

An own goal by Marten De Roon put Lazio in front after five minutes and midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic soon picked up a loose ball just outside the area and curled in a brilliant effort to make it 2-0.

With some better finishing from Ciro Immobile, Lazio could have found themselves even further ahead at the break after some excellent counter-attacks, but in truth the early lead flattered the visitors.

As the first half wore on, Atalanta dominated possession with their slick passing, and Robin Gosens got Atalanta back into the game with a powerful header from Hans Hateboer’s cross just before halftime.

Having gone close to scoring with a bouncing first-half shot, Ruslan Malinovsky then struck a superb equaliser from outside the box midway through the second half as the home side turned the screw.

Lazio barely managed a chance of note in the second half as Atalanta poured forward looking for a winner that eventually came from a set piece.

Goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha seemed to misjudge the flight of the ball as Palomino’s header from Alejandro Gomez’s corner completed a brilliant comeback and handed Lazio their first league defeat since Sept. 25, ending an unbeaten run of 21 matches.

The comeback win left Atalanta fourth on 54 points after 27 games, six clear of fifth-placed Roma, who beat Sampdoria 2-1 at home. Second-placed Lazio stayed on 62 points, four behind leaders Juventus.

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