Serie A Week 37 – 9/5/10 – Stadio San Paolo – Ref: Orsato
Striker: Quagliarella 42′, 83′ (Napoli)
Fabio Quagliarella’s brace has mathematically secured Napoli’s place in the Europa League – sending Juventus to the preliminary round – and relegated Atalanta to Serie B.
The Orobici conceded their hopes had been “reduced to their last embers” after the unlucky 1-1 draw with Bologna last week. Max Pellegrino’s red card proved crucial and here he sat out the first in a two-match ban, joining the injured Cristiano Doni, Jose Leonardo Talamonti, Paolo Zanetti and Edgar Barreto.
Napoli were in the Europa League, but faced a battle with Juventus to avoid the preliminary round. Gianluca Grava and Juan Zuniga were suspended, with Hugo Campagnaro out for the rest of the season, but Walter Mazzarri tested out the trident attack.
German Denis had a goal disallowed after six minutes for his foul on Bianco, then ‘El Tanque’ nodded another chance just wide.
Andrea Consigli kept his cool in a on-on-one against Ezequiel Lavezzi to close down the striker. At the other end Morgan De Sanctis was attentive to palm away a Tiberio Guarente lob.
Fabio Quagliarella made his comeback from a ban and scored on the stroke of half-time. He charged down the right flank and flashed a snooker-shot of an angled drive across the face of goal into the far bottom corner.
Simone Tiribocchi went so close to an equaliser 30 seconds later, but after skipping round De Sanctis he had narrowed the angle too much and hit the side-netting.
Fabio Caserta wasted the chance to equalise with a header off target, but it was Napoli who doubled their lead.
Quagliarella got the second in the final stages, soaring at the back post for a towering header on Mariano Bogliacino’s cross from the left.