Three golden points gained by the Bianconeri in Bergamo beating Atalanta by 2-0, thanks to goals by Olivera and Del Piero (penalty) and they stretch their lead to 8 points over Milan, after their home defeat against Bologna. Juventus dominate the game in Bergamo, struggling only in the first minutes of the match. The first great scoring occasion for Capello’s squad after 6 minutes when Trezeguet’s great shot from outside the box is saved by Calderoni. Juventus press but it’s not easy to prevail over Atalanta who, although they are not that dangerous in attack, try to counter Bianconeri attacks in the midfield. The deserved advantage is achieved after 23 minutes when Emerson serves Olivera. The Uruguayan, who replaced the injured Nedved, beats the opponents’ goalkeeper, who was out of the posts, with a precise lob (0-1). With the advantage acquired, Juventus are still in search of the goal, first with Ibrahimovic, whose attempt is finely saved by Calderoni (30’), then with Trezeguet, whose deflection of Camoranesi’s cross ends beyond the line (32’). Atalanta put up a good show with a couple of free kicks from Bernardini, the first of which ends high over the crossbar (25’) and the second is saved by Buffon, in his first action into the match (35’).
Atalanta start the second half more lively, although they do not worry the Bianconeri; the latter, on the contrary, worry the home side’s defence in several occasions. After 2 minutes, Ibrahimovic’s drive on the left wing ends beyond the line then it’s Cannavaro’s powerful header that ends wide of the post (12’). After 18 minutes, Trezeguet deflects Zambrotta’s cross but his shot misses the target. On 23’ minutes, the Frenchman takes advantage of Natali’s mistake in defence, forwards, assists Del Piero, who’s replaced Ibrahimovic, but Alex is anticipated. After 27 minutes, Zebina passes a great shot on the right to Camoranesi and then the ball is intercepted by Emerson, whose great drive from the edge of the box ends out. On 32’ minutes, Lazzari goes for a finish from the left, and the ball ends over the crossbar. The double advantage for the Bianconeri comes after 35 minutes into the second half, when Del Piero converts a penalty assigned by Collina after Motta’s foul on Camoranesi. One minute later Alex gets close to scoring with a fine header, slightly wide of the Atalanta post. In the last few minutes, the home side tries to catch up and reduce the gap: on 46’ minutes, Thuram passes the ball back to Buffon and the ball, due to a unfortunate bounce, ends in (1-2).
GOALS: 23’fh Olivera, 35’sh Del Piero (penalty.), 46’sh Thuram (o.g.)
ATALANTA: Calderoni, Motta, Sala, Natali, Bellini, D. Zenoni, Migliaccio, Bernardini, Marcolini, Budan (20’fh Makinwa), Lazzari. Manager: Rossi. Substitutes. Taibi, Rustico, Makinwa Innocenti, Capelli, Mingazzini, Sinigaglia.
JUVENTUS: Buffon, Zebina, Thuram, Cannavaro, Zambrotta (42’sh Kapo), Camoranesi, Tacchinardi, Emerson, Olivera (28’ sh Birindelli), Ibrahimovic (16’sh Del Piero), Trezeguet. Manager: Capello. Substitutes: Chimenti, Montero, Birindelli, Appiah, Kapo, Del Piero, Zalayeta.
YELLOW CARDS: 42’fh Natali, 9’sh Mingazzini, 34’sh Motta, 41’sh Zambrotta, 43’sh Zebina