Lazio failed to show much of note in their Serie A clash with Atalanta, falling flat in a bitter 3-1 loss in Bergamo.
The Biancocelesti had been in a run of good form ahead of their Supercoppa Italiana trip, picking up five consecutive wins across the league and Coppa Italia, but their 3-0 defeat to Inter in Saudi Arabia seems to have shaken the team’s confidence, with a 0-0 draw with Napoli following up that loss.
Atalanta, on the other hand, have been almost flawless in 2024, winning five of their six outings across Serie A and the Coppa Italia, only dropping points in a 1-1 draw with Roma. Gian Piero Gasperini’s side are keenly involved in the race for a top four finish, hungry for Champions League riches.
The home side got off to a strong start at the Gewiss Stadium and almost took the lead after 15 minutes after a close-range header from Sead Kolasinac, which was impressively saved by a falling Ivan Provedel.
Atalanta found a breakthrough just a minute later. A cross from Charles De Ketelaere was headed down by Giorgio Scalvini across the penalty area to Mario Palasic, who made no mistake from around seven yards out to blast the home side ahead.
Lazio tried to force their way back into the match a little after this but were unable to find a way through Atalanta, looking toothless and unimaginative in the first half of proceedings in Bergamo.
La Dea were gifted a penalty by an unfortunate Adam Marusic in the build-up to half time following an accidental handball. De Ketelaere stepped up to the spot and confidently slotted home the shot, putting Atalanta 2-0 up over Lazio heading into the half-time break.
The second half saw Atalanta continue to dominate the match, having a few chances through Ederson, Gianluca Scamacca and Aleksey Miranchuk, and they soon found their third of the evening to secure their victory.
In the 76th minute, De Ketelaere cut into the penalty area from the right side of the pitch and fired the ball into Provedel’s near-post, making it 3-0 to the home side.
Ciro Immobile was fouled in the box in the 83rd minute and was awarded a penalty, which he scored to pick up a consolation goal for Lazio in the closing stages.
It was an ultimately frustrating and disappointing performance from Sarri’s Lazio, who’ll need to quickly bounce back if they want to avoid slipping behind in the race for a Champions League spot.