Last-gasp Zapata winner rescues Atalanta
Duvan Zapata struck deep into injury time to rescue a 2-1 win for Atalanta over Genoa on Sunday ahead of his side’s Champions League debut.
Colombian international Zapata rifled in on 95 minutes after Genoa captain Domenico Criscito had pulled the hosts level from the spot four minutes earlier.
The side from Bergamo had been ahead after Colombian substitute Muriel’s 64th-minute penalty awarded when Genoa’s new defender Cristian Zapata fouled his cousin Duvan Zapata.
But amid the late drama Genoa were awarded a controversial penalty after Christian Kouame went down easily following a Berat Djimsiti challenge.
“It seemed to be over with the penalty, but we wanted that win,” Zapata told DAZN.
“The ball came to me and I put everything into it.”
Gian Piero Gasperini’s side had lost last week to Torino and are now fifth, three points behind leaders Inter Milan, before they travel to Dinamo Zagreb for their first ever Champions League game next week.
“Today was a hard-fought match against a good Genoa, but I think Atalanta deserved the victory,” said Gasperini.
“The late penalty left us perplexed, but we showed personality. Finding victory after they equalised at the end of the match is a good sign.”
For Genoa it was first defeat this season after holding Roma 3-3 and beating Fiorentina 2-1.
Inter Milan took top spot in Serie A on Saturday after a 1-0 win over 10-man Udinese, as Juventus lost three players to injury in a goalless draw at Fiorentina.
Stefano Sensi’s diving header was enough to seal a maximum nine points for Antonio Conte’s Inter ahead of their European opener against Slavia Prague in the San Siro next Tuesday.
But as Maurizio Sarri made his debut on the Juventus bench after recovering from pneumonia, the Italian champions showed signs of weakness four days before their trip to Atletico Madrid.
Juventus are trailing two points behind Inter Milan after three games and could be overtaken by city rivals Torino who host promoted Lecce on Monday.
Napoli meanwhile warmed up for European holders Liverpool on Tuesday with a Dries Mertens double sealing a 2-0 win over crisis club Sampdoria, to move up to fourth in the table.