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Alamy Stock Photo Josip Ilicic celebrates scoring.
# Winning
Boost for Atalanta ahead of crucial Man United clash
Veteran Slovenian forward Josip Ilicic, recalled to the team after suffering from a combination of a knee injury and severe depression, scored the opener.

Updated at 20.33

ATALANTA WERE easy 4-1 winners against Empoli in Serie A on Sunday, before they take on Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Champions League this week.

Veteran Slovenian forward Josip Ilicic, recalled to the team after suffering from a combination of a knee injury and severe depression, scored the opener and his first goal of the season when he was well served by Joakim Maehle on 10 minutes.

Ilicic, 33, got his second with a rasping shot on 26 minutes but Federico Di Francesco pulled a goal back for the home side.

Four minutes into the second half, Atalanta took a 3-1 lead when 19-year-old Empoli defender Mattia Viti scored into his own net before the visitors wrapped up the win when Colombian forward Duvan Zapata got his 100th Serie A goal just before the final whistle.

Atalanta moved up to sixth position, eight points behind overnight leaders AC Milan.

The team from Bergamo now head to northwest England to face United, who were beaten 4-2 at Leicester on Saturday, on Wednesday in Champions League Group F.

Napoli returned to the top of Serie A on Sunday after Nigerian international Victor Osimhen scored the only goal in a hard-fought 1-0 win against Torino.

AC Milan had moved to the top of the table after battling back from two goals down to beat Hellas Verona 3-2 at the San Siro on Saturday.

But Napoli moved back to the summit after Osimhen, who had scored for his country in a 2-0 win against the Central African Republic in World Cup qualifying last week, headed the 81st-minute winner.

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Napoli have 24 points, two more than AC Milan while reigning champions Inter Milan are on 17 points after losing ground following a 3-1 defeat away to Lazio on Saturday.

Juventus host Roma in Sunday’s late match.

© – AFP, 2021

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