Atalanta put in an historic performance to lead Bologna 4-0 with Josip Ilicic’s brace, Hans Hateboer and Duvan Zapata goals in the opening 15 minutes.
The Orobici went in knowing a win would put them clear in fifth place, just one point off Milan in the Champions League spot. Rafael Toloi was out injured, while Bologna missed Mattia Destro and Federico Mattiello, but had Federico Santander back on the bench after several weeks out with a dislocated shoulder. Sinisa Mihajlovic’s men had won three on the bounce to clamber out of the drop zone, but needed a response after Empoli beat Napoli the day before.
It took just three minutes to break through with a Josip Ilicic stunner, as he cut inside past a defender and curled a spectacular left-foot special into the far top corner.
Moments later, it was 2-0, as Ilicic had proved he’s pretty handy with his right boot as well. The mercurial Slovenian ran on to a through ball and hit a screamer from the tightest of angles that bounced off the inside of the far post.
It was one-way traffic, as Ilicic then added an assist to his remarkable opening nine minutes, threading through for Hans Hateboer to rifle in a right-foot angled drive.
Bologna wasted a golden opportunity to get one back, as first Ladislav Krejci’s shot was beaten away by Pierluigi Gollini at the near post, then Krejci put it back in only for Diego Falcinelli to somehow prod wide from three yards.
It was costly, because Atalanta immediately scored a fourth, Duvan Zapata breaking away down the left from midfield, shrugging off Giancarlo Gonzalez and blasting into the roof of the net with his right boot from a tight angle.
It was the first time one team had scored four goals in the opening 15 minutes of a Serie A match since Juventus against Roma in March 1932, a fixture that eventually ended 7-1.
Marten De Roon almost scored the goal of the season when Lukasz Skorupski came tearing out and he attempted the lob from midfield, but it floated just wide of the open goal.
Atalanta 4-0 Bologna (Half-Time)
Ilicic 3, 5 (A), Hateboer 9 (A), Duvan Zapata 15 (A)
Atalanta: Gollini; Mancini, Palomino, Masiello; Hateboer, De Roon, Freuler, Gosens; Gomez; Ilicic, Duvan Zapata
Bologna: Skorupski; Calabresi, Gonzalez, Lyanco, Krejci; Donsah, Pulgar, Nagy; Orsolini, Falcinelli, Sansone
Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports and get your first month free. £5.99 thereafter until September with promo code: ITALIA https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/