Lecce-Atalanta (0-2) – Scattered Considerations

De Ketelaere and Scamacca give the fourth qualification to the Champions League in the last 5 years.

Lecce-Atalanta it is a challenge between people from Salento who are already mathematically safe – the last one at home and with an open bus already ready outside the Via del Mare to celebrate with the Giallorossi people – and those from Bergamo at the station of the intermediate Via Crucis, located in the middle of Holy Week between final of the Italian Cup and the Europa League. Massive but not complete turnover, from the 1st minute, for Gasperini (Toloi, Bonfanti, Hateboer and Touré the “real” reserves in the starting 11), with Scalvini used in midfield to make up for the Orange’s double absence due to injuries and suspensions; even fewer revolutions for Gotti, with Gonzalez and especially Berisha as the only variables that went crazy compared to the block on which the coach from Adria based the final rush of the Apulians.

The key to Atalanta’s start is Miranchuk’s position: never fixed in one area of ​​the pitch but free to vary across the entire front, the Russian does not provide any reference for any man-to-man pairings. His left-footed strike from outside and the introduction of Pasalic in the 6th minute forced Falcine to perform a double miracle at the start, nothing new in the season of Wladimiro’s consecration in Serie A. All the elegance of Miranchuk up to the edge of the area, all the lightness and clumsiness of Gasperini’s 59 at the moment of finishing. As in the most confusing days of the Gasp team, in which the close matches do not allow psychological and tactical preparation suitable for a Serie A match, every time Lecce finds a half-time advantage against the Bergamo pressure they reach the inside of the Musso area. The Argentine doesn’t want to be outdone by the opponent next door, and the cross out on Piccoli raises the tone of the challenge between the extreme defenders.

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“Maybe he plays a different defense with his team”: exact words of Dario Marcolin, on the technical commentary for DAZN, referring to Giovanni Bonfanti. The Atalanta left centre-back, making his second appearance with the first team in Serie A in a year played entirely in the Under23s – playing almost at the same time as Catania in the second leg of the playoff round – is used in the same areas of the pitch and, we also say this to benefit of those who have not seen a single minute of Atalanta U23, with the same deliveries in the non-possession phase. If this someone, however, is handsomely paid to provide technical clarifications during matches, doesn’t the authority of the figure of the “sidekick” of the commentary diminish a little? (So ​​no, Bonfanti does not play a different defense with the Under 23s: like the first team and also the Under19s, in Zingonia the man-marking of the defensive trio is practiced on almost all pitches).

Some interesting indications for the future of Lecce: Joan Gonzalez right winger in midfield – for the third time since Gotti’s arrival at Via del Mare; Dorgu who does not disdain trampling on the clods of the intermediate corridors on the left; the double geometries of Ramadani and Berisha; the alternation between reaching out and feeding on depth between Piccoli and Krstovic. Some imbalances in the first pressure, with the Dane and the 2003 Albanian above all poorly coordinated in keeping their distances tight on Atalanta’s wall game, but experiments that will come in handy in the continuation of the technical project orchestrated by DS Corvino and, who knows, also Mister Gotti. First half with many opportunities on the one hand – goal disallowed for offside by Dorgu, again the Bale-like wasting a cross when Venuti kissed – and on the other – post hit by Zappacosta’s right winger, another couple of interventions from Falcone on Scamacca’s long range shots – but the result was blocked at 0-0. A quarter of an hour into the second half and, coinciding with Scamacca’s second goal and Fidene’s departure from the field of 90, Lecce-Atalanta takes on the rhythm and quality of a pre-season friendly, with all the possible and imaginable annotations that would leave the time they find.

Any useful ideas for Atalanta and Gasperini in view of the final in Dublin? Little or nothing, to be honest. The double center forward Scamacca-Touré is intriguing for future developments but, even if it were to be used again in an emergency against Bayer, it will soon be seen against a defensive trio and not an extremely physical pair like Baschirotto-Pongracic; Scalvini in midfield, as at the very beginning of Chiari’s 2003 season among the professionals, is a stopgap solution and not applicable immediately, with the Brescia player probably assigned to take care of Wirtz on Wednesday evening, however starting from the last line; the tactical centrifuge to which Bonfanti is subjected, for which one could imagine a future as the central pivot of a 3-man defense of a team devoted to possession football and also tossed around as a full-back left winger.

A separate consideration for the 0-1 goal, because the invoice deserves this space. Scamacca’s control to prevent the ball from running into a lateral foul, the right winger to find the internal cut of the new attacking unit, the resistance to contact with Gallo and De Ketelaere’s left-handed spoon. Even on the dullest and most crowded evenings, whether because the body and mind are in a completely different place, or because all the concentration is aimed at avoiding injuries, Atalanta’s widespread potential is confirmed as being of a high level. Such a level that, despite very high periods and some periods of emptiness, allows Gasperini and the Nerazzurri Bergamo to achieve their fourth Champions League qualification in the last 5 years.

2024-05-18 17:52:45
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