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Ademola Lookman proves the incisor as La Dea grit their teeth in close victory over Leece

Ademola Lookman
Ademola Lookman's goal helps Atalanta provisionally displace AS Roma in Serie A top six,following a 1-0 victory over Lecce, who remain winless away from home in the top-flight this season.

 

Although Atalanta’s inconsistent form of late was a cause for concern, they took charge of proceedings, with the Gewiss Stadium in fine voice for their final match of 2023.

The calendar year’s highest scoring Serie A home side with 43 goals, La Dea almost added another to their name in under 15 minutes, after Gianluca Scamacca struck the woodwork from close range following a promising free-kick delivery. However, the hosts were not entirely immune to Lecce’s advances at the other end.

Marco Carnesecchi was tested by Hamza Rafia midway through the half following a strong shot from the edge of the box, before Gian Piero Gasperini’s men caught visiting keeper Wladimiro Falcone lurking outside the area, only for Federico Baschirotto to save Lecce’s skin with a last-ditch clearance.

Rafia’s chance turned out to be an oddity though, as Lecce were spared the burden of trailing at the break despite Atalanta’s best efforts to take the lead.

Having scored a league-high seven goals in the 15-minute interval directly following HT, La Dea were expected to up the ante after the restart.

And that is exactly what they did, as Mario Pašalić rattled the crossbar, shortly before Lecce’s Gabrel Strefezza saw a tap-in disallowed at the other end. But it was third time lucky just before the hour mark, when Atalanta’s top goalscorer this season, Ademola Lookman, took it up a notch with a brilliant low finish from the edge of the area to break the deadlock.

That made it six straight home league appearances with a goal contribution from the Nigerian.

Although Atalanta loanee Roberto Piccoli then came painfully close to turning the tide against his parent club, with a shot that went a whisker wide of the left post, the hosts calmly held out their lead to record a fifth straight unbeaten game across all competitions.

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