Coppa Italia: Atalanta Qualify For Final After 23 Long Years
Having won only one major trophy in their entire top-flight competition history, Atalanta’s qualification to the Coppa Italia final is a monumental triumph
Serie A club Atalanta defeated six time Coppa Italia winners Fiorentina with an aggregate of 5-2 in the Coppa Italia semi-finals. This is the first time, after twenty three years, that Atalanta has qualified for the finals of Coppa Italia, since they last ended as the runners-up in the 1996 finals.
The Story of the Historic Win
At Fiorentina, the first leg ended in a 3-3 score line, giving Atalanta the advantage in away goals rule. In the second leg, Fiorentina started off with a bang as their striker Muriel scored in the opening three minutes. Ten minutes later, Fiorentina defender Ceccherini’s foul over Atalanta’s winger Gomez made the referee point to the penalty spot. After VAR’s intervention, Atlalanta’s Ilicic converted the penalty, equalizing the score.
The home side owned most of the possession, dominating the space. In the second period, after a few penetrating attacks, Gomez scored the winner, post the hour mark. A blunder by Fiorentina’s custodian Lafont was punished by Gomez, as the ball bounced into the back of the net. The score line stood at 2-1, and Atalanta cruised into the finals with a 5-4 aggregate.
What the Victory means for Atalanta?
Atalanta was promoted from Serie B to Serie A, Italy’s top football division, in the 2010-11 season. During the Serie-B period, they won the Coppa Italia in 1963, the only major honour in their trophy cabinet. It has been nearly 56 years since they won a top flight tournament in Italian football. Adding to the record books, IIicic became the only the Atalanta player to score 10 or more goals and provide 10 or more assists in all competitions in the 2018/19 season.
Gian Piero Gasperini, manager of Atalanta, will be looking forward to lift the Coppa Italia as well as finish in the top four of the Serie A. Atalanta will be encountering six time Coppa Italia champions Lazio in the Coppa Italia final.