Serie A: Atalanta fight back from two goals down to beat Lazio; Inter Milan's title hopes diminish after draw against Sassuolo

José Luis Palomino headed in the winner 10 minutes from time after Ruslan Malinovskiy and Robin Gosens had pulled Atalanta back into the match. Sergej Milinković-Savić had earlier put Lazio 2-0 up with a long-range strike after an own goal from Marten de Roon.

The Associated Press June 25, 2020 09:07:56 IST
Serie A: Atalanta fight back from two goals down to beat Lazio; Inter Milan's title hopes diminish after draw against Sassuolo

Milan: The match between Serie A's two highest-scoring teams lived up to its billing as Atalanta fought back from two goals down to beat Lazio 3-2 on Wednesday, putting a dent in the visitors’ title hopes.

José Luis Palomino headed in the winner 10 minutes from time after Ruslan Malinovskiy and Robin Gosens had pulled Atalanta back into the match. Sergej Milinković-Savić had earlier put Lazio 2-0 up with a long-range strike after an own goal from Marten de Roon.

Serie A Atalanta fight back from two goals down to beat Lazio Inter Milans title hopes diminish after draw against Sassuolo

Atalanta's Ruslan Malinovskyi scores a goal during match against Lazio. AP

Lazio is now four points behind Serie A leader Juventus and four ahead of third-place Inter Milan, which again gave away a lead to draw 3-3 against Sassuolo.

It was Lazio's first match since 29 February and brought an end to its club record run of 21 matches undefeated.

“This defeat complicates the road to the title,” Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi said. “We hadn’t lost for 21 matches but Atalanta was one of the worst opponents to start up again against.

“The team approached the match well but we should have finished it off by making it 3-0. It would have been very important. We’re disappointed by this comeback, especially as their first and third goals were avoidable.”

Atalanta remained fourth, four points below Inter and six above fifth-place Roma, which beat Sampdoria 2-1.

“We have come from behind so many times so I was calm even when we were down by two goals,” Atalanta forward Alejandro “Papu” Gómez said. “Our style of play always leads to us scoring.

“We can’t give up, we have important teams behind us such as Roma, Napoli and AC Milan. We’ll continue like this, then maybe in the closing stages of the season we can aim higher.”

Before the match, a Lazio delegation laid a wreath of flowers at the cemetery in Bergamo in honor of the victims of coronavirus.

The small city was one of the epicenters of the outbreak and more than 6,000 people died with COVID-19 in the province.

The two teams are the most entertaining in Serie A and had scored 134 goals between them. Lazio came back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 when they met earlier this season.

Lazio took an early lead when De Roon blasted Manuel Lazzari’s cross into his own net in the fifth minute. The visitors doubled their lead six minutes later as Milinković-Savić curled a swerving effort into the top left corner from about 25 yards out.

Atalanta pulled one back seven minutes before the break when Gosens headed Hans Hateboer’s cross back across into the bottom right corner.

And the comeback was complete in the 66th as Malinovskiy fired a thunderbolt into the top right corner from distance.

The winner came when Palomino headed in a corner at the back post.

Dropped points

Inter Milan’s title hopes diminished further as it again dropped points from a leading position.

Inter had fought back from a goal down to lead 2-1 at halftime and also led 3-2 with four minutes remaining before Giangiacomo Magnani leveled again for Sassuolo.

The Nerazzurri have now lost 15 points this season from leading positions.

Francesco Caputo gave Sassuolo an early lead at San Siro but Inter turned the match around with two goals in five minutes. Romelu Lukaku leveled from the spot after Jeremie Boga fouled Milan Skriniar and Cristiano Biraghi scored in first-half stoppage time following a one-two with Alexis Sánchez.

Inter should have put the game away after the break but Roberto Gagliardini somehow hit the bar of an open goal from just a few yards out before Domenico Berardi equalized with a penalty after Ashley Young tripped Mert Müldür.

Lukaku had a goal ruled out for offside but Inter thought it had won the game when Borja Valero tapped in Antonio Candreva’s free kick.

However, Magnani also scored from close range with a minute remaining.

Skriniar was sent off for a second booking in stoppage time.

Dzeko double 

Edin Džeko scored two second-half volleys to help Roma fight back from a goal down against Sampdoria.

Manolo Gabbiadini had netted the opener for Samp in the 11th minute.

Sampdoria remained a point above the relegation zone.

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