Roma comeback in Bergamo

20

Second-place Roma rallied to beat Atalanta 2-1 on Saturday as the Serie A resumed after the international break. Maximiliano Moralez gave the hosts the lead 57 seconds into the match in Bergamo and Atalanta were unlucky not to make it 2-0 nine minutes later when Daniele Baselli's shot struck the crossbar. Roma's Adem Ljajic equalised midway through the first half before he set up Radja Nainggolan for the Giallorossi's second before the interval. Atalanta wasted several chances to pull level after the restart and ended the game down to 10 men after substitute Richmond Boakye was sent off for a double booking one minute from time. The outcome has lifted the Eternal City outfit level on 28 points with league leaders Juventus, who visit Lazio later on Saturday. Atalanta are 17th in the standings but could fall into the relegation zone if Chievo win at Udinese on Sunday. With Roma captain Francesco Totti unavailable through suspension, coach Rudi Garcia fielded Ljajic alongside Juan Manuel Iturbe and Mattia Destro in attack. The Bergamaschi went into the contest looking for their first win since October 19 and could not have asked for a better start. Cristian Raimondi raced down the left side past Roma defender Ashley Cole and crossed for Moralez, who struck the ball from the heart of the area past visiting goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis. Roma were fortunate not to trail 2-0 in the 10th minute after Baselli's right-footed volley beat De Sanctis but rebounded off the woodwork. The visitors equalised midway through the first half when Ljajic darted into the area and drilled a diagonal shot into the far post and out of Atalanta goalkeeper Marco Sportiello's reach. The visitors kept up the pressure and were rewarded three minutes before half-time. Nainggolan played a neat one-two with Ljajic before hitting the ball from 12 yards past a helpless Sportiello. Garcia handed Michele Somma his Serie A debut when the 19-year-old defender replaced an injured Vasileios Torosidis three minutes into the second half. The home side wasted a good chance to make it 2-2 shorlty after the hour mark when Guglielmo Stendardo headed Alejandro Gomez's free-kick wide from six yards. Atalanta then failed to punish Roma in the 70th minute. Daniele De Rossi lost the ball in his own area under pressure from Moralez and the Argentinian struck the ball off target with only De Sanctis left to beat. With seconds remaining, Boakye was handed his marching orders for dissent.