MONZA (Reuters) -Atalanta moved two points clear at the top of Italy’s Serie A after they secured a 2-0 win at bottom-placed Monza on Monday.
Atalanta were unable to break through Monza’s defence in the first half as they faced a promoted side who were determined to secure their first points of the season before the visitors came out a more aggressive unit in the second half.
Rasmus Hojlund scored the opening goal of the game in the 57th minute when Ademola Lookman found the Danish striker in the box where he shot into the bottom left corner with one touch.
Atalanta doubled the lead eight minutes later through an own goal when Lookman’s cut-back pass was deflected into Monza’s net by defender Marlon.
“We took a risk in the first few minutes, then we came out on top,” Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini said after the game.
“It has never happened in Atalanta’s history to be on top alone in the standings, it’s a credit to these guys and it’s a very good thing for the people and for us.”
Atalanta are now on top of the league with 13 points, two ahead of Napoli and champions AC Milan.
Gasperini also praised Hojlund after the 19-year-old scored his first goal for the club after signing from Austrian side Sturm Graz.
“We were convinced from the very first training session. He has very good characteristics for a 19-year-old, we need to work on him but he has a great future,” Gasperini said.
Monza are the third team in Serie A history to lose their first five games of the season after Trevisio (2005) and Benevento (2017).
(Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk, editing by Pritha Sarkar)