Verona (Italy) (AFP) – Atalanta closed in on Serie A leaders AC Milan after coming from behind to win 2-1 at Verona on Sunday and move to within two points of top spot.
Gian Piero Gasperini’s side sit third in Italy’s top flight thanks to goals in either half from Aleksey Miranchuk and Teun Koopmeiners which ensured they took advantage of Milan drawing at Udinese on Saturday.
They are level on 37 points with second-placed Inter Milan, who will finish the weekend in first place if they beat Cagliari in Sunday’s late match, after moving above Napoli ahead of their home clash with Empoli in the early evening.
Defeat for Verona was their first at home since Igor Tudor took charge in mid-September and leaves them 11th on 23 points, one ahead of Torino who beat Bologna 2-1 in Sunday’s early match.
Giovanni Simeone gave the hosts a 22nd-minute lead with his 13th goal of a superb season for the Argentine, forcing a shot past Juan Musso from a narrow angle.
However with eight minutes until the break and after Mario Pasalic had thwacked the post, Miranchuk levelled by dancing into a shooting position and rolling come a calm finish.
And Atalanta were ahead just after the hour mark through Koopmeiners, who was lucky to see his distance effort take a massive deflection off Adrien Tameze and fly past a stranded Lorenzo Montipo in the Verona goal.
The hard-fought win will be a boost for Atalanta after they missed out on the last 16 of the Champions League following Thursday’s home defeat at the hands of Villarreal.
They will be in Monday’s draw for the Europa League play-off round after finishing third in Group F behind La Liga outfit Villarreal and Manchester United.