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2016/2017 Italian Serie A
  • Andrea Conti (48')

Atalanta move fourth in Serie A with win over lowly Crotone

Atalanta maintained their push for a European spot by defeating relegation-threatened Crotone 1-0 in Serie A on Saturday.

It was more difficult than Atalanta perhaps expected, but Andrea Conti scored to propel Atalanta into fourth spot, three points above Inter Milan, who Bologna on Sunday, and four above Lazio, who visit struggling Empoli later.

Crotone had a late goal ruled out for offside and remained 19th, nine points from safety.

It took until the 34th minute for the first shot of the match, and Andrea Barberis' free kick for Crotone was off target.

Atalanta almost took the lead minutes later but Rafael Toloi headed Papu Gomez's corner just over the crossbar.

The hosts looked more determined after the break and broke the deadlock three minutes in. Andrea Petagna rolled across from the left of the area and Conti snuck in behind a defender to tap it in at the back post.

Franck Kessie should have doubled Atalanta's lead in the 80th minute as he burst between two players in the area and chipped Crotone goalkeeper Alex Cordaz, but his effort went inches wide of the left post.

Atalanta enjoyed a flurry of late chances as Petagna's effort was parried, as was Jasmin Kurtic's follow-up, while Gomez curled a shot off the crossbar.

Atalanta was almost made to pay for their missed opportunities as Crotone thought they had equalised four minutes from time when goalkeeper Etrit Berisha beat away Barberis' free kick and Aleandro Rosi headed in the rebound, but he was correctly flagged offside.