Atalanta dream season continues with win away to Napoli
Napoli 0 - 2 Atalanta

Atalanta dream season continues with win away to Napoli

Atalanta are dreaming of a place in the Champions League after a 2-0 win at Napoli on Saturday moved them within three points of the third-placed side in Serie A.

Defender Mattia Caldara again stole the show with a goal in each half. Atalanta midfielder Franck Kessie was sent off moments before Caldara's second, following two bookings in quick succession.

Napoli hit the crossbar twice in the first half, and Atalanta reached half-time up 1-0 after a corner bounced through to Caldara and he nodded it in.

Atalanta continued to press, though their chances of getting a second appeared to diminish when Kessie was sent off in the 67th minute.

But Caldara doubled his tally three minutes later, volleying Leonardo Spinazzola's dinked cross into the bottom left corner.

Napoli fought to get back into the match and Jose Callejon should have done better but headed wide from point-blank range.

The result ended Napoli's run of 14 league matches without defeat.

Inter Milan can move back level with Atalanta with a win over second-placed Roma on Sunday. Victory would make the race for a place in Europe's elite club competition wide open.

Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini admitted last week that a win against Napoli would change his side's objectives, and that new aim will be tested in their next two matches against Fiorentina and Inter.

Atalanta's achievement is even more impressive given that they rely mainly on young, homegrown talent.

Caldara, who was signed by Juventus last month but loaned back to Atalanta until 2018, is only 22, while Andrea Petagna, Andrea Conti and Alberto Grassi are the same age or younger. They all came through the youth ranks together at the Bergamo-based club.

Petagna scored in a 1-0 win over Napoli this season but Maurizio Sarri's side had only lost one match since October -- a 3-1 defeat at Real Madrid in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League clash.

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24/09/2017
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