SPAL finished 17th last season, just three points above the drop, but Serie A minnows SPAL may have turned things around.
23-year-old AC Milan youth product Andrea Petagna scored a pair within six minutes of each other soon after halftime, and that was all SPAL needed as they topped Atalanta 2-0 at Stadio Paolo Mazza. Atalanta held 57% possession, but couldn’t find a way through, only able to put one of its 13 shots on frame.
The win moved SPAL to second in the Serie A table, level with Napoli on points but ahead by three goals on differential, with Napoli on a 0 goal differential thanks to its baffling 3-0 loss at Sampdoria two weekends ago. Through four matches, SPAL has conceded just a single goal, coming in last weekend’s 1-0 loss at Torino, their only blemish so far this season.
The victory marked SPAL’s first match back in its home ground, which had been renovated to increase capacity to 16,000 which was the minimum to host Serie A matches. They had been playing home matches at Stadio Renato Dall’Ara in nearby Bologna, the usual home site for fellow Serie A side Bologna FC. Last season’s 17th placed finish was the club’s first campaign in the top flight since 1968.
SPAL and Napoli still sit three points back of eight-time defending champions Juventus, who are on a perfect 12 points through four matches. SPAL visits Fiorentina next weekend.