Atalanta climb into Serie A top five, Udinese snatch Napoli draw

football06 May 2024 20:54| © AFP

Atalanta took a big step towards Champions League football on Monday after coming from behind to win 2-1 at relegated Salernitana and move up to fifth in Serie A.

Gian Piero Gasperini's side moved above Roma on goal difference with a game in hand thanks to goals in six second-half minutes from in-form striker Gianluca Scamacca and Teun Koopmeiners.

Atalanta host Roma on Sunday in a match that could well decide which of that pair claim a spot in Europe's top club competition next season, with five available to Serie A.

"A match like that (Roma) is obviously crucial, but before that we have another which we think is rather important," joked Gasperini to DAZN.

Gasperini was referring to Atalanta's Europa League semifinal decider with Marseille on Thursday night, a tie which is level at 1-1 following last week's first leg in southern France.

"I've not often seen a stadium like theirs which is so big but also transmits so much passion, so it doesn't surprise me that they're not the same team away from home, but I expect a tough game nonetheless," added Gasperini.

It wasn't all plain sailing for Atalanta on Monday as Gasperini made three changes at half-time with his team trailing to Loum Tchaouna's fine curling opener for the hosts in the 18th minute.

Koopmeiners was one of those substitutes and he gave Atalanta the points in the 63rd minute with a brilliant strike after Scamacca prodded home his 10th goal in 12 matches.


Isaac Success's smart stoppage time finish snatched a 1-1 draw for struggling Udinese against Napoli, whose disastrous season can't end soon enough.

Udinese are 18th and two points behind Empoli and Frosinone, who sit just outside the relegation zone and who Fabio Cannavaro's team face in their final two games of the season.

Victor Osimhen's goal wasn't enough for eighth-placed Napoli who are nine points behind Atalanta with three matches remaining and out of the running for the Champions League.

Nigeria striker Osimhen crashed in a perfect header six minutes after the break, his 15th Serie A strike of a troubled campaign flying in off the post of the same goal in which last season he secured Napoli's historic third league title.

That night, which sparked wild celebrations across Naples and a pitch invasion in Udine, will seem like more than a year ago to Napoli fans who watched their team fail to defend the Scudetto as Inter Milan romped to glory.