Attacking masterclass from Duvan Zapata and Matteo Pessina helped Atalanta reach the final of the Coppa Italia, at the expense of Napoli.

Atalanta sealed their ticket to the final of the Coppa Italia following a 3-1 win over Napoli on Wednesday. The two sides had played out a goalless draw in the first leg but a 3-1 home win for the Atalanta ensures their match-up with Serie A champions Juventus in the final later this season.

The hosts were on top for the most part of the game, thanks to a brisk start that saw them find the opener inside ten minutes thanks to Duvan Zapata. The forward then turned provider for Matteo Pessina’s goal in the 16th minute as Atalanta doubled their advantage over a clueless Napoli side. They headed into half-time with a comfortable 2-0 lead.

However, Napoli did respond rather well in the second half as Hirving Lozano pulled one back in the 53rd minute. The goal sparked hope of a potential comeback for Gennaro Gattuso’s men, but they repeatedly failed to trouble Pierluigi Gollini. And in the end, the Partenopei were punished as Pessina completed his brace in the 78th minute to seal a 3-1 victory for Atalanta.

Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the two sides following this fascinating second leg fixture in the semi-final of the Coppa Italia this midweek.

Atalanta

Pierluigi Gollini: 7/10

Pierluigi Gollini deserves praise for making three good saves, and the Atalanta goalkeeper was rather unfortunate to concede the goal from Lozano in the second half.

Rafael Toloi: 7/10

Rafael Toloi’s experience and imposing presence at the back was key in keeping Napoli quiet for the most part of the game. A decent defensive display from the Brazilian.

Jose Luis Palomino: 7/10

Operating at the heart of Atalanta backline, Palomino’s ability to read the game saw him make four interceptions. He remained strong throughout the game, keeping Napoli at bay.

Berat Djimsiti: 7/10

Berat Djimsiti offered the defensive aid for the two centre-backs, but also acted as the additional playmaker by moving up the pitch whenever it was necessary.

Bosko Sutalo: 5/10

Bosko Sutalo had an awful game on the right-hand channel. He could not really impose his authority and was possessed 13 times. It was surprising to see him play till the very end.

Marten de Roon: 7.5/10

A clinical display from Marten de Roon, who was strong in dealing with Napoli’s chance creators. His overall passing also looked impressive, while the midfielder won three ground duels.

Remo Freuler: 7.5/10

Remo Freuler aided de Roon in the second line of press for Atalanta. He was a bit more involved in possession, notably threading almost 60 passes with an accuracy of 89%.

Robin Gosens: 8/10

Robin Gosens may have hoped for a bit more accuracy in his crosses, but the German international created multiple turnovers on the left-hand side. Kept the opposition occupied.

Matteo Pessina: 9/10

Matteo Pessina was one of the best performers in the game for obvious reasons. His two goals helped Atalanta seal a ticket to the final of the Coppa Italia, with the Italian also showing some excellent attacking skills.

Duvan Zapata: 9.5/10

Duvan Zapata was by far the best player on the pitch, not only scoring an early opener but also providing the assist for Pessina’s two goals. His all-round play in the number nine role was simply delightful.

Luis Muriel: 6.5/10

Luis Muriel was nowhere near as influential as Zapata in the Atalanta attack. He was taken off just before the hour mark to no one’s surprise.

SUBSTITUTES

Josip Ilicic: 7/10

Replaced Muriel in the 56th minute to add more directness in the Atalanta game. He made a telling impact, with his work-ethic and tactical versatility.

Mattia Caldara: 6/10

Replaced Palomino in 72nd minute, helping Atalanta see out their lead during the final phase of the game.

Mario Pasalic: N/A

A late replacement for Pessina. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.

Napoli

David Ospina: 6.5/10

David Ospina could have done very little to save any of the three goals scored by Atalanta. He was, in fact, one of the few good performers for Napoli in this game.

Giovanni Di Lorenzo: 5/10

A bad day at the office for Giovanni Di Lorenzo. He looked overwhelmed by the early Atalanta pressure, eventually allowing them to score goals.

Amir Rrahmani: 6/10

Amir Rrahmani did well compared to his defensive teammates. He remained strong in dealing with Zapata, especially in terms of duels. Clearly deserves more recognition in the first-team.

Nikola Maksimovic: 4/10

Nikola Maksimovic was far too incompetent in dealing with the Atalanta attackers, often failing to marshal the backline properly. One should clearly expect a lot better from this experienced defender.

Elseid Hysaj: 4.5/10

An effective performance from Elseid Hysaj, who barely provided anything going forward. His overlapping runs were missing on this occasion. Unfortunately, he could not continue after picking up an injury just before half-time.

Eljif Elmas: 5/10

Eljif Elmas struggled to impose his authority in the middle of the park. His partnership with Tiemoue Bakayoko, in particular, lacked solidity, with the player eventually getting subbed at half-time.

Tiemoue Bakayoko: 5/10

Bakayoko was way too slow to ever co-ordinate the game for Napoli, especially up against an aggressive second line of press from the Atalanta side.

Piotr Zielinski: 4.5/10

It was yet another poor performance from Piotr Zielinski, whose struggles this season continues. The Pole failed to offer any creativity in the final third and was taken off around the hour mark.

Hirving Lozano: 8/10

Hirving Lozano was by far the most influential player for Napoli. He scored the goal but most importantly, kept the defence occupied. Lacked support from his attacking teammates, though.

Victor Osimhen: 6/10

It was a disappointing performance from Victor Osimhen who could not quite make things happen and find a way past the Atalanta defence. Subbed off late in the game.

Lorenzo Insigne: 5/10

Atalanta did an excellent job of isolating Lorenzo Insigne in the wider position. It made things way more difficult for the Napoli skipper to cause any real danger in the final third.

SUBSTITUTES

Mario Rui: 5/10

Replaced the injured Hysaj in the 42nd minute, adding more urgency on the left flank. However, he was inconsistent, to say the least.

Matteo Politano: 6/10

Matteo Politano evidently improved Napoli’s midfield after replacing Elmas at half-time. Offered more acceleration and ball progression in the final third.

Stanislav Lobotka: 5.5/10

Stanislav Lobotka looked promising with the ball at his feet but lacked ideas in the final third.

Diego Demme: 6/10

Orchestrated the game much efficiently after replacing Bakayoko midway through the second half.

Andrea Petagna: N/A

A late replacement for Osimhen. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.

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