David Ospina impressed for Napoli while Luis Muriel was a bright spot for Atalanta as the two teams played out a goalless draw in the Coppa Italia semi-finals first leg.
Napoli had a chance early on with Lorenzo Insigne forcing a save from Pierluigi Gollini. From that point on though, Atalanta looked the likeliest to score as David Ospina was called into action on multiple occasions while the likes of Berat Djimsiti and Remo Freuler were guilty of missing chances as the first-half ended goalless.
Atalanta had a great chance to open the scoring early in the second period after a defensive mix-up at the back by the hosts, but Luis Muriel was denied by David Ospina, while Hirving Lozano was denied at the other end. Neither team was able to find that clinical edge as the game petered out in the final phase, ending in a goalless stalemate.
The result means both Napoli and Atalanta head into the second leg on equal footing as they eye a place in the finals of the Coppa Italia. And here’s how we rated the performances of the players from both teams at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Wednesday night.
David Ospina: 7/10
Kept Napoli in the game with a string of important stops on either side of half-time. One particular mix-up with Kalidou Koulibaly almost cost his side but recovered well. Finished the game with four saves.
Kostas Manolas: 6.5/10
Fairly solid at the back despite the number of chances Atalanta conjured up. Made three key interceptions and tackles and charged out to block a shot from Muriel in the second half.
Nikola Maksimovic: 6/10
Back into the starting XI, the Serb, who is out of contract at the end of the season, had a few moments when he was unable to deal comfortably with Muriel and Zapata. But did play his part in securing the clean sheet, making four clearances and two tackles.
Kalidou Koulibaly: 6/10
A poor mix-up early in the second could have cost his team, while he needed to do better with a chance at the other end when he headed over. Assured otherwise, making a key block to deny Muriel and another fine tackle to thwart Joakim Maehle. Won four of his ground duels while also chipping in with a couple of key passes.
Giovanni Di Lorenzo: 6/10
Had a few bright moments pushing forward, but those came few and far in between as he had to constantly deal with the marauding threat of Robin Gosens. Produced a vital block to stop Freuler’s shot in the first half.
Diego Demme: 6/10
Need to be serious❓asked…#Napoli’s Diego Demme sustained high velocity ball to face. Was back on pitch in ~ 1:15 only to go back down less 1 min later. Carted off.
🔹By mechanism alone, shouldve been removed
🔹How was he adequately cleared in 1:15??#SerieA pic.twitter.com/RtRPuMHG8u
— InjuryMechanisms (@IMechanisms) February 4, 2021
Did his bit in the defensive side of things, but wasn’t able to make many contributions going forward. Had a shot deflected just wide prior to half-time. Had to be stretchered off in the second half after being struck to the head by the ball. Hopefully, it is nothing too serious.
Tiemoue Bakayoko: 6.5/10
Starting in the centre of the park, the former AS Monaco man worked hard off the ball throughout, as he made three interceptions and two tackles, winning eight of his twelve duels (ground and aerial). Kept things neat and tidy when on the ball, although could have shown a bit more adventure and intent with his forward passes.
Elseid Hysaj: 6.5/10
Provided a handy outlet from left wing-back when Napoli pushed forward, as he made three key passes on the night. Responsible in his defensive duties too, making a couple of interceptions and clearances each.
Matteo Politano: 5/10
A quiet outing from the Italian forward, who had been reinstated to the lineup in place of Andrea Petagna. Failed to test the goalkeeper and did not make a single key pass, but did complete a couple of dribbles before being taken off.
Hirving Lozano: 6/10
Starting in a central role on Wednesday, the Mexican international was a lively presence as he buzzed around the box trying to make things happen. Came close to scoring in the second half only to be denied by Gollini.
Lorenzo Insigne: 6.5/10
Looked the likeliest to cause damage to Atalanta in the final third as Insigne completed each of his ten attempted dribbles on the night while having a goal-bound effort saved by Gollini early in the game. Had a couple more shots blocked before being taken off due to a fitness issue.
Eljif Elmas: 5/10
On for the injured Demme in the 67th minute. Not involved a great deal in the latter stages of the game.
Andrea Petagna: 5/10
Replaced Politano in the 67th minute. Made just 15 touches and lost the possession on five occasions.
Piotr Zielinski: 6/10
Came on for Insigne with a little over 20 minutes left. Delivered a good corner to set Koulibaly up for a chance, but the defender headed over.
Victor Osimhen: N/A
Thrown on in place of Lozano in the 82nd minute. Not enough time to make an impact.
Pierluigi Gollini: 7/10
Not as busy as Ospina in the opposition goal, but still needed to be alert to deny Insigne and Lozano on either side of half-time. Misplaced just four of three of his 24 attempted passes on the night.
Rafael Toloi: 6/10
The Atalanta captain went about his defensive duties in a solid manner ensuring Napoli did not get a host of chances. Caused some problems when he pushed forward but was guilty of missing a great chance in the first half.
Cristian Romero: 6.5/10
Back into the starting XI after having tested negative for coronavirus, Romero was a solid presence at the heart of the three-man defensive unit. Made four clearances and tackles each, won nine of his 14 duels and was accurate with his distribution. Headed over from a good position early on though.
Berat Djimsiti: 7/10
Reliable and assured in defence, Djimsiti ensured little got past him on Wednesday night as he won six duels, produced three clearances and blocks each. Pushed forward on the odd occasion to support Gosens on the left and created a chance for the left wing-back, who couldn’t make it count.
Joakim Maehle: 6/10
Decent outlet down the right as he looked to drive down the right flank at every given opportunity. Got himself in a good position to score in the second period, but was denied by Koulibaly’s last-ditch tackle.
Marten de Roon: 6/10
Did what was needed of him in the middle of the park, breaking up play effectively as he made four interceptions and two tackles. Was largely precise with his distribution as well.
Remo Freuler: 6/10
Like his partner in midfield, kept things in check, never really allowing the hosts to get onto the front foot. Should have done better with his chance in the first half though when he shot over the bar after his initial effort had been blocked.
Robin Gosens: 6.5/10
Back into the side after serving out a suspension, was a constant attacking outlet on the left as one would expect of him. Made one key pass and had a couple of shots at goal, one of which went wide and the other blocked by Manolas.
Matteo Pessina: 6.5/10
A tricky customer in the final third, Pessina caused problems with his intelligent link-up play. A lovely one-two with Toloi saw the defender played in through on goal, but fluffed his lines. Played four key passes, but could not make the best of an early chance after being played in by Muriel.
Duvan Zapata: 6.5/10
A threat every time the ball fell to him in and around the box, but Zapata was twice denied by Ospina on the night, while he also had a couple of shots blocked.
Luis Muriel: 7/10
Starting ahead of Josip Ilicic, the Colombian was a lively customer at the top for Atalanta. Moved well and tried to fashion opportunities for his teammates, delivering as many as seven key passes while creating two big chances. However, his teammates lacked the finish to make those count. Was himself guilty of missing a big chance, which sees his rating get docked by a point.
Mario Pasalic: 5/10
Replaced Pessina in the 73rd minute. Had little impact in the final phase of the game.
Josip Ilicic: 6/10
On for the lively Muriel with less than twenty minutes left. Livened thigs up, helped create a chance, but couldn’t find the winning goal.
Sam Lammers: N/A
Came on for Zapata in the 80th minute. Fired a shot well wide in stoppage time.