The days of Serie A being viewed as a dull, ultra-defensive league should be a thing of the past and on Monday evening Roma and Atalanta served up a superb example in a thrilling 3-3 draw.
Roma, who finished in third last season, would have hoped to see off a largely second string Atalanta despite not defeating the visitors in the Stadio Olimpico since 2014 but required a late Kostas Manolas equaliser to steal a dramatic points
It didn’t look like that would be the case when Javier Pastore celebrated his first start in Rome with a goal after 90 seconds. And what a goal it was as the 29-year-old produced the most audacious back-heel from Cengiz Under’s cross to flick the ball inside the far post.
“I think after our goal, we got a bit too relaxed and allowed them to have the ball, but that is something we shouldn’t do,” Pastore said at full-time.
The recent signing from Paris Saint-Germain wasn’t wrong and after 19 minutes Atalanta were level, Timothy Castagne following in the rebound from Duvan Zapata’s shot against the post.
Atalanta then took control and while the powerful Zapata, once of Estudiantes, proved too much for Roma’s defence it was new signing Emiliano Rigoni who got the goals. Zapata motored down the left and crossed for Rigoni to slot in the second and before the break the former Independiente forward slammed in another.
Rigoni’s pace and ability to finish off both feet evident in Rome and a promising sign for his season-long loan in Italy.
Alessandro Florenzi and Manolas eventually brought Roma back level and the home side could have nicked it but what was a tremendous advert for the league was also a good sign for two Argentinians hoping to get themselves back into national team consideration.