Serie A

Ilicic and Zapata excel for amazing Atalanta in Serie A Top 3

La Dea put seven past Lecce at the weekend, taking their tally to 70 goals in 25 matches for the season

2:32pm on Monday 2nd March 2020
Martin Macdonald
Josip Iličić
F, AM (C) - Atalanta - 32 yrs
Mar 1, 2020

There is a strong case for Josip Ilicic being the best player of this Serie A season, as his utterly majestic form continued with a 10/10 showing in Atalanta's 7-2 demolition of Lecce.

He scored one and set up two, with his first assist coming via a corner kick into the box for Duvan Zapata.

That was one of two that he set up for Zapata, with the next being finished by the striker after a quite brilliant move involving Alejandro Gomez and Ilicic, with the latter lofting a volleyed cross to the back post while falling over with his back to goal.

For his individual goal, he latched on to a rebound following a saved Gomez shot, before faking to shoot with his right foot, sending three Lecce players the wrong way in the process, before finishing into the empty net.

He completed 48/59 passes, 35 of which were sent into the final third which was the second-most of any player in Serie A.

Duván Zapata
ST (C) - Atalanta - 28 yrs
Mar 1, 2020

While Ilicic provided the creative spark for Atalanta, Zapata was the finisher, as he bagged a hat-trick versus Lecce.

His first was a towering header bulleted into the top corner after a corner kick delivery from the Slovenian.

The next two displayed his prowess at sniffing out chances as they were scored from a combined distance of about two yards, with his second of the day being slid home after the cross from Mario Pasalic.

To earn his hat-trick, he peeled away at the back post to receive the cross from Ilicic only to see his initial attempt saved on the line by the keeper. However, he reacted sharply before stab a strike into the corner while lying on the floor.

Nikola Kalinić
S (C) - Roma - 32 yrs
Mar 1, 2020

With Edin Dzeko rested on the bench, Nikola Kalinic was given a rare start for Roma in the 4-3 away win at Cagliari.

He delivered with the chance he was given, scoring two and setting up another.

After missing a sitting early on, he eventually claimed his first goal in a Roma shirt after pouncing on a mistake from Luca Pellegrini to nod in from a yard out. His second was scored from a similar distance after he converted a reverse cross from Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

He would then turn provider after beating the defender in the air to glance a knockdown to Justin Kluivert, who would eventually run through to score. That was one of six aerial duels he won on the day out of eight contested.

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