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Italian Serie A

Atleti Azzurri d'Italia (ATT 12,503) 2nd February 2014 - Kick off 14:00 Ref: N Rizzoli

Atalanta Atalanta vs Napoli Napoli

Atalanta 3

G Denis (47, 64)
M Moralez (70)

ft

Napoli 0

Defensive errors cost Napoli

Last Updated: 02/02/14 4:28pm

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Atalanta celebrate against Napoli

Atalanta celebrate against Napoli

Three defensive howlers helped Atalanta claim a resounding 3-0 home victory over Serie A title challengers Napoli at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia.

Bergamo has been an inhospitable venue for Napoli over recent years and a brace from German Denis preceded Maxi Moralez's late goal to condemn the southerners to a fifth defeat from their last eight league games here.

More pressing than the fact Jose Reina, Gokhan Inler and Federico Fernandez each made glaring errors to facilitate Atalanta's goals is the fact that Napoli missed an opportunity to catch up with league leaders Juventus and second-placed Roma, who are eight and six points better off respectively.

Daniele Baselli was first to threaten the Napoli goal, his left-footed effort whistling just over the bar, and Cristian Raimondi soon set Giacomo Bonaventura up to unleash a wayward volley past Reina's posts.

Bonaventura continued to menace Rafael Benitez's men but saw his fierce drive blocked by Fernandez before he nodded Moralez's cross just wide of the mark.

Reina was forced to rush off his line to sweep the ball off Moralez's feet as Atalanta pushed ever forward.

Napoli then decided to wake up, Dries Mertens testing Andrea Consigli's reflexes with a shot on the turn before Stefano Lucchini got across to cover Blerim Dzemaili's long-range sighter.

There would be four additional minutes played in the first half but all Napoli could muster was a tentative attempt from Mertens that Consigli neutralised with ease.

Shortly after the restart, Atalanta scored their first goal.

Reina should have coped much better with Denis' powerful strike but the Spaniard instead allowed the ball to slip off his gloves and end up in the net.

Bonaventura - behind all of Atalanta's best moves in the first half - impressed once again as he shrugged off Fernandez's challenge to pick out the onrushing Denis.

Raul Albiol got across the box to close the Argentinian down just in time.

Napoli missed a great chance to equalise on the hour mark as Mertens hesitated in possession having been put clean through on goal by Goran Pandev, and it was clear Benitez needed to switch things around.

He did so by introducing Gonzalo Higuain for Duvan Zapata and the former Real Madrid player soon made his presence felt as he forced a low save from Consigli.

Unfazed, Atalanta doubled their advantage, thanks to another individual error.

This time it was Inler whose lapse in concentration saw him pass straight to the lurking Denis and the ex-Napoli man gratefully clipped the ball past Reina with his right boot.

Five minutes later Atalanta put the game to bed with a third goal.

Once again a glaring defensive mistake let the Orobici have free reign in the final third and, after Fernandez slipped over at a crucial moment, Moralez rounded Reina to shoot high into the net.

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Matches

Table

Italian Serie A

Italian Serie A
Pos Team P Pts
1 Juventus 16 39
2 Roma 16 36
3 Napoli 16 27
4 Sampdoria 16 27
5 Lazio 16 27
6 Genoa 16 26
7 AC Milan 16 25
8 Fiorentina 16 24
9 Udinese 16 22
10 Palermo 16 22
11 Inter Milan 16 21
12 Sassuolo 16 20
13 Verona 16 17
14 Empoli 16 17
15 Torino 16 17
16 Chievo 16 16
17 Atalanta 16 15
18 Cagliari 16 12
19 Cesena 16 9
20 Parma 16 7