Roma end the winning streak of Atalanta
Tammy Abraham scored two goals as Roma put on a counter-attacking clinic to stun Atalanta with a 4-1 win in Bergamo on Saturday and climb to fifth place in Serie A.
Jose Mourinho’s side finished the game with 29% possession and eight shots to Atalanta’s 17, but they were far more efficient with their chances.
“Yes, I think so,” Mourinho told DAZN when asked if it was the best Roma have played this season.
? TAMMY ? pic.twitter.com/hRkExSWtwz
— AS Roma (@OfficialASRoma) December 18, 2021
“We showed fantastic spirit. The players knew that we couldn’t be in control for 90 minutes against Atalanta. They were strong in every perspective.”
Roma moved to 31 points, six behind the Bergamo club in third, and ended a six-game league winning streak by Gian Piero Gasperini’s side.
England international Abraham opened the scoring inside the opening minute with a deflected strike, and Nicolo Zaniolo doubled their lead by finishing off a quick counterattack for his first league goal of the season.
Gasperini was quick to make a change, bringing on striker Luis Muriel after 34 minutes, and the Colombian substitute’s strike cannoned off Roma’s Bryan Cristante for an own goal that got the hosts back into the match on the brink of halftime.
Atalanta pushed for a leveller and thought they had it when Jose Luis Palomino nodded in from close range at a corner, but he was offside.
#ASRoma #AtalantaRoma pic.twitter.com/PcBkA6QXCW
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) December 18, 2021
Mourinho’s team scored a third four minutes later when Chris Smalling volleyed home his second goal in two games, marking the first time in Serie A history that two different English players have scored in the same game.
Abraham swept in his second of the afternoon with eight minutes remaining to take his tally for the season to six goals in Serie A.
Juventus win under foggy conditions
Goals from Alvaro Morata and Juan Cuadrado on either side of halftime helped Juventus earn a 2-0 win at Bologna in thick fog on Saturday to lift the Turin club to sixth place in Serie A.
Morata fired home a first-time finish after six minutes to put the visitors in front, but they were second best for much of the match as Bologna dictated the tempo.
The scenes in the fog before Bologna vs. Juventus. pic.twitter.com/2Je0G04V3D
— cricketsoccer (@cricketsoccer) December 19, 2021
Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side couldn’t make their possession count, however, and Colombian defender Cuadrado punished them when his deflected strike flew into the top corner midway through the second half.
“As we always say, we must only focus on ourselves. When you play with the attitude we had tonight, you get results,” Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci told DAZN.
“We can’t afford to lose ground at the moment, and every win is important.”
Massimiliano Allegri’s side moved into sixth on 31 points, level with AS Roma and five behind fourth-placed Napoli, who face AC Milan on Sunday. Bologna remained 10th with 24 points.
Juve were under pressure to deliver three points after being held to a draw by relegation battlers Venezia last weekend, continuing a theme of dropping points against lower table sides this season.
FT | ⌛️ | Bianconeri W in Bologna! ?⚪️⚫️#BolognaJuve #FinoAllaFine #ForzaJuve pic.twitter.com/rs5Rp3XCfQ
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) December 18, 2021
Allegri spoke prematch about his side’s need to be more clinical, and Spain international Morata answered that plea when he latched onto a Federico Bernardeschi through ball and dispatched the opening goal early on.
But the hosts were soon on the front foot, coming closest when Mattias Svanberg’s acrobatic overhead kick flew narrowly wide and Nicolas Dominguez’s fierce shot was beaten away by Wojciech Szczesny.
Cuadrado came to Juve’s rescue when they were under pressure, launching a shot into the top corner from the edge of the area via a deflection off defender Aaron Hickey’s back.
The comfort of a two-goal cushion seemed to instil confidence in the Old Lady during the closing stages, as Bernardeschi had a good effort tipped wide and Cuadrado seemed destined to score before his shot was deflected off target by Andreas Skov Olsen.
Juve’s win continued a remarkable streak for Allegri, as it stretched the coach’s career unbeaten run against Bologna to 19 matches -the most of any manager against a single Serie A opponent in the era of three points for a win.