Atalanta beautiful and unlucky, tied with three posts in the Europa League on the pitch of Sporting Lisbon


By John

Sporting Lisbon-Atalanta 1-1

MARKERS: 17'pt Paulinho, 39'pt Scamacca.

SPORTING LISBON (3-4-3): Israel 6.5, Quaresma 5, Coates 5.5, Diomande 5.5 (1'st St.Juste 6); Catamo 6.5, Morita 5.5 (39'st Bragança sv), Koindredi 5.5 (1'st Hjulmand 6.5), Reis 6; Edwards 5.5 (1'st Gyökeres 5), Paulinho 7 (23'st Esgaio 6), Trincão 6.5. On the bench: Pinto, Silva, Nuno Santos, Luis Neto, Fresneda, Pontelo, Quenda. Coach: Amorim 6.

ATALANTA (3-4-3): Musso 6; Djimsiti 6.5, Hien 6.5 (1st Scalvini 6), Kolasinac 7; Holm 6.5 (45'st Zappacosta sv), Ederson 7, De Roon 6, Ruggeri 6.5; Miranchuk 6 (27'st Koopmeiners 6), Scamacca 7 (37'st Touré sv), Lookman 6.5 (27'st De Ketelaere 6.5). On the bench: Carnesecchi, Vismara, Toloi, Pasalic, Bakker, Adopo, Hateboer. Coach: Gasperini 6.5

REFEREE: Siebert (Germany) 6.5.

NOTE: pitch in good condition. Spectators: 28,528. Booked: Hien, Edwards, Scalvini, Djimsiti. Angles: 4-10. Recovery time: 2' st, 4' st.

Back and forth between Sporting Lisbon and Atalanta at the «José de Alvalade» in the first leg of the round of 16 of the Europa League. Hit cold by Paulinhothe Bergamo team accumulates opportunities but is also stopped by two posts in their angry reaction, culminating in a draw Scamacca at the end of the first half. In the second, more balanced, one wood on each side and precision that was affected by the tiredness of the fourth match in 11 days for both; 1-1 and everything will be decided in Bergamo on Thursday 14th, also because in the final a millimetric offside nullifies Touré's feat.
Gasperini even aims for the trident with five changes from the 1st minute compared to the match lost against Bologna: Musso for Carnesecchi, Hien for Scalvini, Holm for Zappacosta, Ederson for Pasalic, Miranchuk for Koopmeiners and Scamacca for De Ketelaere. At the start Djimsiti frees the area from the incursion of Edwards, author of the 1-1 draw in Bergamo in the group stage on 30th November, and in the thirteenth minute not even Ederson's outside neck on Lookman's corner which is moved away does not unlock a tactically closed challenge head by Coates. Three minutes into the twentieth, Holm and Hien leave the area exposed and Trincao can launch Paulinho to the left-handed diagonal in the running for the Portuguese lead.
In the middle of the first half the two poles first of Holm, who takes up an action by Lookman hitting the base diagonally after having skipped Reis, and then of Scamacca, who takes advantage of Ederson's support to cross a powerful right-footed shot just from outside. But it is the Roman himself, second goal against the Lions after the one in Bergamo, who rebalances the score near the fortieth minute, taking advantage of Lookman's pressure and Miranchuk's assist on a back pass from Quaresma which leaves his teammates taken aback.
The Bergamo people, however, were already in full control. Previously the 1-1 dress rehearsals had belonged to the Ederson-Scamacca duo, who instead of shooting exchanged the ball following the misunderstanding between Israel and Kondreidi, and to De Roon, from distance after half an hour, on the third corner in favor, finding Israel ready to lift above the crossroads. The Sporting goalkeeper denied the brace and the 2-1 comeback to Scamacca in the 42nd minute by deflecting Miranchuk's dunk in front of him with his fingertips. The second half opens with Kolasinac's uncertainty and Catamo's shot which does not catch Musso unprepared, while in the quarter of an hour Lookman also remains at the post, returning on the right after a tunnel to Quaresma following a vertical suggestion from Ruggeri.
Same fate, shortly afterwards, for Coates, who rose higher than anyone from Trincao's free kick from the right. In the same specialty, however, Kolasinac missed the target for the guests in an excellent position after Ederson's cross on the half hour mark. Nine minutes from the 90th minute, the offside, confirmed by the goal check, dampens Touré's celebration: Israel comes out badly on his feet, the Malian's overhead kick ends up on goal but it's all in vain. The curtain falls on a match that neither Gyokeres nor the substitutes from Bergamo, including Koopmeiners and De Ketelaere, manage to make an impact.