The Colombian was back to face his former club for the first time since joining Torino on loan during the summer transfer window. Atalanta, meanwhile, were welcoming Charles De Ketelaere back to the starting line-up following his recent injury.
De Ketelaere was given a rough welcome back to competitive action, as Karol Linetty put in a robust sliding challenge from behind after five minutes, resulting in the first free kick of the evening.
Atalanta had started on the front foot, spending the vast majority of the opening 10 minutes camped in Torino’s half of the pitch. That momentum began to shift, however.
Zapata broke through dangerously for Torino in the 19th minute, requiring a perfectly-timed intervention from Giorgio Scalvini in the penalty area to prevent a shot on goal from point blank range.
Two minutes later, Zapata was handed another opportunity within the Atalanta penalty area. Nikola Vlasic provided the low cross from the left-flank and the Colombian just about had enough time to take a touch and finish past Juan Musso from the edge of the six-yard box.
With 27 minutes gone, Zapata, the dangerman of the opening exchanges, had another shot saved from close range in an almost identical situation to the opening goal.
Vanja Milenkovic-Savic had to stand tall at the other end almost immediately afterwards to deny Matteo Ruggeri one-on-one in an awkward position towards the corner of the penalty area.
De Ketelaere challenged the Torino goalkeeper in similar fashion with 37 minutes on the clock, but the Serbian international was in the right place to keep him out again.
Gasperini called for changes at the interval. Emil Holm and Luis Muriel were summoned, replacing Hans Hateboer and Ademola Lookman respectively.
Torino had succeeded at getting in behind the Atalanta wing-backs during the first period, a trend which continued into the second half as Zapata again looked to convert with his first touch on the edge of the six yard box with 52 minutes played.
The hosts won a corner as a result. Alessandro Buongiorno had been hauled down at the far post, leading to a lengthy VAR check before referee Marco Piccinini pointed to the spot.
Antonio Sanabria stepped up to take the spot kick, finding the bottom left corner, while sending Musso the wrong way in the process.
De Ketelaere’s evening was done by that stage. He was replaced by Mario Pasalic immediately after the penalty.
Atalanta heads began to drop after Torino’s second, and the hosts did not look willing to slow the pace of the game down in and around the hour mark.
Torino won themselves a free-kick from a dangerous position with 15 minutes left to go, but Sanabria was unable to add to his personal tally for the night, as Musso gratefully gathered a relatively tame effort.
Atalanta looked to hit them on the break immediately afterwards, as Milenkovic-Savic was called into action to prevent Bakker on the counter attack.
Pasalic had one of Atalanta’s better chances of the second half approaching 80 minutes. He found himself in receipt of the ball on the edge of the area, but rushed his decision making and flashed an early effort wide of the post.
As the action looked to be drawing to a close, Zapata popped up once more, taking the ball of Vlasic on the left flank again, before twisting and turning in the area to find the necessary space to fire a shot across goal.
Zapata found the bottom left corner to secure his brace and Atalanta’s third with the final kick of the game.
Torino now find themselves back in the top half of the Serie A table in 10th, while Atalanta stay rooted in eighth place, just one point above Monday’s opponents.
Torino 3-0 Atalanta
Zapata 22’ (T), Sanabria 56’ (T), Zapata 90+5’ (T).
(Assist: Nikola Vlasic)
|Marten de Roon
(Assist: Nikola Vlasic)