Overwhelming Atalanta: manita at Spezia and third place together with Inter

The Goddess goes behind for Nzola’s goal, then a super Pasalic, Zapata, Muriel and Malinovskyi spread

From our correspondent Marco Guidi

Atalanta rule La Spezia at Gewiss Stadium for 5-2 and advance to 25 points, temporarily reaching Inter in third place in the standings. However, it was not all a walk for the Goddess, suffering in the first half hour against a good Spezia. The pupil Thiago Motta had managed to complicate the plans of the master Gasperini (first match on the bench between the two, after the common experience at Genoa 2008-09 – one as a player and the other as a coach), until his they have not completely lost their equilibrium, taking water on the Atalantine starts and ending up suffering a passive that is too large, almost unfair. At the end the star was Pasalic (brace and an assist), while Gasp can smile for the return of Muriel, as well as the usual Zapata and Malinovskyi. And to think that it all started with Nzola’s goal, then the author of a brace …


Gasperini recovers Toloi in defense, leaves Freuler at rest in midfield (there is Koopmeiners) and in front he relies on the trident Ilicic-Zapata-Pasalic. Thiago Motta confirms the formation that beat Torino before the break, with the sole exception of Hristov in place of the suspended Nikolaou in defense. The Italian-Brazilian coach repeats the tactical move already seen against Turin, with Bastoni quick to get up and Gyasi to lower himself, so as to transform the 4-3-3 into 3-5-2. The first emotion at 4 ‘, with Ilicic who catches the ball put in the middle by Zappacosta and turns with the left just a little to the side. However, La Spezia does not stand by and watch. He phrases, raises the interior of the midfield when he pushes and at 11 ‘takes the lead by surprise. Verde frees himself at 20 meters and goes to the shot, Musso deviates roughly on the crossbar and on the rejected Nzola sentences with the left. Atalanta seems to suffer the blow, struggling to react, but at 18 ‘almost out of nowhere they find the same: Zappacosta goes between Bastoni and Sala on the right, cross, Zapata’s veil and Pasalic’s first-intention jab to electrocute Provedel. The 1-1 this time galvanizes the Goddess who begins to push with conviction. At 21 ‘Maehle tries from the limit: wide ball. Then it’s Zappacosta’s turn: out. The good opportunity would still have Nzola on the other side, but the guest attacker lingers too long in the conclusion and Toloi blocks him a few steps from Musso. At 28 ‘Koopmeiners’ blast, in the shade in the first part of the race: his left foot from the edge puts the chills on Provedel, but goes off to the bottom.


Five minutes after the episode that directs the game: counterattack led by Zapata, assist for Maehle on whose shot Sala intervenes with an open arm. Abisso doesn’t whistle, but then corrects himself after the on field review: penalty. Zapata goes on the spot and Provedel rejects, but the referee has it repeated, again at the suggestion of the Var, because Erlic had entered the area before the serve. On the second chance, Duvan makes no mistake. And here the game changes. Because as soon as the Ligurians raise the defensive line, Atalanta is lethal on the restart. So at 41 ‘Zapata eats Hristov in one on one and is cold in serving Pasalic for the 3-1 face to face with Provedel. La Spezia is now like a punched boxer who awaits the gong of the interval and the unleashed Zapata almost fails to deliver his fourth punch in 45 ‘: Provedel saves well on the ground this time.


Atalanta returns from the 15 ‘break with the intention of managing the advantage. Thiago Motta after 7 ‘tries to restore vigor to his team by inserting Manaj for Green. The problem for the Ligurians arises when the hosts recover the ball and verticalize quickly, always finding the rearguard in poor condition: at 9 ‘Maehle wastes a great opportunity by not serving his teammates in numerical superiority. Gasperini, also in view of the Champions League match on Tuesday at Young Boys, begins his whirlwind of substitutions: out of Ilicic and Koopmeiners, in Malinovskyi and Pessina. La Spezia no longer has the equilibrium of the first half hour and every time the Goddess accelerates a moment it is a chance for poker: at 17 ‘Provedel rejects Zappacosta’s diagonal blow. Guest jolt in the 21st minute: the Nerazzurri defense slept, Nzola escaped on Maggiore’s launch and ended strong diagonally, Musso rejected well with his feet. The game remains enjoyable, even if it is now full of flames, like Djimsiti’s right from the edge out of a whisker. Or Zapata’s shot from 20 meters deflected in diving by Provedel. At 34 ‘Duvan’s match ends, among the best: his compatriot Muriel enters. And it is precisely the other Colombian who drops the poker in the 38th minute, on an assist from Pasalic, after Maggiore had touched the big target with a right-footed turn that came out of Musso’s left. For Muriel it is the end of a fast that lasted from the first day in August (goal to Toro). Over here? No, the doors are now open. So Malinovskyi with a powerful left makes 5-1, but Nzola in recovery from corner action still beats Musso. And this time the 5-2 is final.

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Overwhelming Atalanta: manita at Spezia and third place together with Inter

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