Napoli’s European Dreams Dashed As Atalanta Delivers Crushing Blow in 3-0 Win

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Atalanta BC capitalized on two defensive lapses from SSC Napoli to secure a commanding 3-0 victory in Serie A, marking their first win over the Partenopei since December 2021 and widening the gap to five points over their European contenders in sixth place.

Despite a 17-day break without competitive action, Atalanta showed no signs of rustiness, coming close to an early lead when Aleksei Miranchuk’s strike hit the post after Mario Pašalić’s precise through-ball.

Napoli responded with Victor Osimhen’s attempt at his first home goal since February, but Atalanta’s goalkeeper Marco Carnesecchi denied him with a fine save from Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s cross.

However, Napoli’s defensive vulnerabilities, which had led to a lack of clean sheets in their previous 10 matches, resurfaced midway through the first half, allowing Atalanta to seize control of the match.

Meret’s error allowed Hans Hateboer’s header to find Mario Pašalić, who set up Aleksei Miranchuk for an easy finish, putting Atalanta ahead with his third Serie A goal of the season.

Atalanta continued to press for a second goal before halftime, and another defensive mistake, this time from Juan Jesus, gifted possession to Miranchuk, who found Gianluca Scamacca for a powerful strike into the bottom corner.

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Francesco Calzona made tactical changes at halftime, with Piotr Zieliński coming close to scoring with a volley that hit the post.

Despite Napoli’s late efforts, including chances for Victor Osimhen, they couldn’t breach Atalanta’s defense, with Carnesecchi making crucial saves.

Atalanta capitalized on Napoli’s missed opportunities with a swift counter-attack, culminating in Teun Koopmeiners’ precise finish past Meret.

Gian Piero Gasperini’s team demonstrated clinical finishing and defensive solidity, securing their first Serie A victory since mid-February.

Napoli’s momentum under Calzona suffered a setback against Atalanta, highlighting the challenge they face in securing European qualification for the next season.

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