Abraham brace gives Roma thumping win at Atalanta
Bergamo (Italy) (AFP) – Tammy Abraham struck twice as Roma ran out 4-1 winners at fancied Atalanta on Saturday, in the biggest win for Jose Mourinho since returning to Serie A.
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Abraham opened the scoring with less than a minute on the clock at the Gewiss Stadium and rounded off the match late on as Roma closed the gap between them and the Champions League places to five points.
Nicolo Zaniolo and Abraham's countryman Chris Smalling also netted in an impressive win, their first against one of Italy's top teams this season, which took them fifth and dented third-place Atalanta's burgeoning title hopes.
Gian Piero Gasperini's side sit third, six points behind champions and league leaders Inter Milan who crushed Salernitana 5-0 on Friday, and will drop to fourth if Napoli beat AC Milan on Sunday.
Roma took the lead in an odd fashion when after charging into the box Abraham poked forward a close-range finish which looped high off Marten de Roon and into the net.
The away side were pinned back in their own area for long periods but like Villarreal who performed their own smash-and-grab in Bergamo a few days ago, Roma struck on the break through the marauding Zaniolo to double their lead against the run of play in the 27th minute.
Atalanta continued to push and got back into the game in first half stoppage time when substitute Luis Muriel's low drive took a wild deflection off Cristante and left Roma goalkeeper Rui Patricio with no chance.
And the home fans thought they were set to witness a grandstand finish in the 68th minute when Jose Luis Palomino touched the ball home from Duvan Zapata's flick, but the Argentine was ruled offside by VAR.
Four minutes later Smalling hit Atalanta with a gut punch, meeting Jordan Veretout's superb free-kick to jab home the third from close range.
Abraham made it six league goals for the season with eight minutes remaining, lashing home a powerful first time finish after Veretout's blocked shot fell to him perfectly in shooting range.
Juventus aim to get their season back up and running again later on Saturday as they travel to Bologna.
© 2021 AFP