Josip Ilicic scored a objective and arrange two others as Atalanta moved as much as fourth in Serie A on Saturday with a 4-1 win over midtable Benevento.
The 32-year-old proved he has returned to his greatest type after taking two months out on account of private issues after the primary coronavirus lockdown final 12 months.
The Slovenia striker was spectacular all through, with Atalanta captain Papu Gomez nonetheless frozen out after clashing with coach Gian Piero Gasperini.
“We’re into the championship now,” mentioned Gasperini after a 3rd consecutive win.
“It is a actually good time for us, we have regained confidence, the flexibility to play for 90 minutes and likewise (regained) enthusiasm.”
Ilicic gave the guests the benefit after half an hour, embarking on a solo run up the best flank, dribbling previous three defenders and firing in on the close to publish, by way of centre-back Kamil Glik’s legs.
He was a denied a second by the publish shortly afterwards with a fierce drive from lengthy vary, having additionally supplied excellent crosses for Robin Gosens and Duvan Zapata, who squandered the probabilities.
Marco Sau pulled Benevento stage 5 minutes after the break, with Zapata having a objective dominated out for offside.
However Ilicic had a job in Atalanta’s subsequent two targets, as Benevento goalkeeper Lorenzo Montipo pushed his 69th-minute effort into the trail of Rafael Toloi who scored on the rebound.
Two minutes later, Ilicic was once more the creator with a superb cross for Zapata to faucet within the third from shut vary.
Substitute Luis Muriel curled in from the sting of the realm 4 minutes from time for his tenth league objective this marketing campaign, and sixth in 5 video games.
Atalanta moved above defending champions Juventus by some extent, with the Bergamo aspect now six factors adrift of leaders AC Milan who host Torino afterward Saturday.
Gasperini mentioned the choice to maintain Argentinian Gomez sidelined was “a technical alternative”.
“I wanted to strive one other kind of system as a result of I noticed that we have been struggling in midfield and Gomez didn’t adapt.”
AC Milan need to prolong their one-point benefit over metropolis rivals Inter Milan who journey to third-placed Roma on Sunday.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has returned to the Milan squad after seven weeks out injured, with the 39-year-old having missed eight league video games.
On Sunday, fifth-placed Juve face a troublesome match at house towards sixth-placed Sassuolo.
Andrea Pirlo’s aspect are with out three gamers who’re affected by coronavirus in Alex Sandro, Juan Cuadrado and Matthijs de Ligt.