Charles De Ketelaere and Teun Koopmeiners scored goals of sheer class to give Atalanta the hard-fought victory away to Genoa, made to look easier by two stoppage-time counter-attacks.

Both sides were on splendid form, as the hosts were unbeaten in eight, with Koni De Winter suspended, Ridgeciano Haps and January signing David Ankeye injured. La Dea had Teun Koopmeiners back after a couple of weeks out, but Ederson sat out a ban with Isak Hien and Jose Luis Palomino, while Muis Muriel is heading to Orlando City. Ademola Lookman plays in tonight’s Africa Cup of Nations Final with Nigeria.

De Ketelaere confirmed his extraordinary form by opening the scoring with a stunner. It was a well-worked move from midfield, but Mario Pasalic found the Belgian to control with his right foot and on the turn smash it left-footed into the far top corner from outside the box.

De Ketelaere then managed to squirm away from two defenders at the by-line and pull back, with nobody ready to tap in from six yards.

Marco Carnesecchi got his gloves to a Johan Vasquez header and Mateo Retegui strike, then after the restart Retegui tested the goalkeeper again before Morten Frendrup skimmed the upright on the resulting corner.

Genoa had come out fighting for the second half and equalised with a former Atalanta star, as Ruslan Malinovskyi completed a give and go before smashing left-footed from just outside the area.

However, Atalanta immediately restored their advantage with a magnificent Koopmeiners free kick whipped into the near top corner with the inside of the left boot.

Mario Pasalic should’ve made it 3-1 when Sead Kolasinac sparked a counter-attack by intercepting a poor pass, but he prodded it straight at the on-rushing Josep Martinez.

The third goal was absolute chaos, as Martinez made the save on Matteo Ruggeri, then Pasalic, but Giorgio Scalvini was there to bundle over the line eventually. The odd thing is Scalvini’s boot had come off during a tackle in the long move, so he scored with his stockinged feet, holding the shoe in his hand. There was an extraordinarily long VAR check for possible offside, which eventually disallowed the goal after six minutes of evaluation of the footage. The offside was Pasalic, who got the final touch on the Scalvini finish.

It was therefore still 2-1 and Genoa almost equalised when Carnesecchi made a desperate reaction save from close range on Albert Gudmundsson after a Caleb Ekuban back-heel flick.

Due to that incredibly long VAR check, there were 13 minutes of stoppages, during which Genoa had a series of crosses and corners cleared, but were so unbalanced that Miranchuk saw his effort parried into the path of Davide Zappacosta for 3-1. The former Genoa player refused to celebrate.

Genoa continued to push and were punished again, as Miranchuk stood up a cross from the by-line for El-Bilal Toure’s header, his first goal for Atalanta.

Genoa 1-4 Atalanta

De Ketelaere 22 (A), Malinovskyi 51 (G), Koopmeiners 55 (A), Zappacosta 100 (A), Toure 103 (A)

11-02-2024 17:00
MatchDay 24

Player statistic

1st half
    22' Goal Charles De Ketelaere
(Assist: Mario Pasalic)
Kevin Strootman Yellow card 24'    
    24' Yellow card Charles De Ketelaere
    32' Yellow card Sead Kolasinac
2nd half
Ruslan Malinovskyi
(Assist: Milan Badelj)
Goal 51'    
Mattia Bani Yellow card 54'    
    55' Goal Teun Koopmeiners
Aarón Martín Yellow card 90+3'    
    90+2' Yellow card Marten de Roon
    90+7' Yellow card Aleksey Miranchuk
    90+10' Goal Davide Zappacosta
    90+13' Goal El Bilal Touré
(Assist: Aleksey Miranchuk)

Match statistic

55
Possession %
45
15
Total shots
14
6
Shots on target
9
5
Shots off target
1
4
Blocked shots
4
7
Corners
4
0
Offsides
1
8
Fouls
13
Genoa
Atalanta

Starting lineups

1
Goalkeeper
14
90'
22
Defender
13
Defender
20
Defender
83'
8
Midfielder
63'
47
Midfielder
63'
32
Midfielder
17
Midfielder
11
19
Attacker
29
Goalkeeper
19
Defender
3
Defender
57'
42
Defender
88'
22
Defender
90'
23
Defender
8
Midfielder
15
Midfielder
7
Midfielder
17
57'
90
57'

Substitutes

2
Midfielder
23
5
Midfielder
39
Goalkeeper
16
Goalkeeper
90
Defender
Attacker
18
Attacker
63'
3
Defender
63'
10
Attacker
83'
9
Attacker
90'
1
Goalkeeper
31
Goalkeeper
20
Defender
25
Midfielder
44
Midfielder
43
77
57'
59
Midfielder
57'
10
Attacker
57'
2
Defender
88'
33
Defender
90'

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