Atalanta is the true, only Italian team right for the European cups. He is not of the highest level and we do not even know if he will go on in the Europa League because Bayer are strong, but the spirit is what is needed in these competitions, the spirit, the game and the courage. Gasperini’s team only 3-2 beat Bayer, third in the Bundesliga standings, but put him down for long periods of the game. He created a lot, he concluded, he always played, suffered and recovered. Real team. On all, along with Murielwe would like to put Ruslan Malinovskyi. It’s easy to imagine her state of mind, he was playing with mourning on his arm and on his way back to the locker room he took off the sash, kissed it and looked up at the sky. A big hug and a big round of applause, the Ukrainian deserves all of this.
FROM CHAMPIONS – For how it was played, for the technical level of the two teams, it almost seemed like a Champions League match, not a Europa League match, more thanks to Atalanta than Bayer. Bergamaschi and Germans wasted no time, they did not wait for the opponents’ moves, but immediately put the challenge at a high pace and with quality. Five minutes, the first, for the Goddessthen the Leverkusen attack took over: inside post on a free-kick from Aranguiz who waited another five minutes to score a beautiful goal. Action all first, a touch and go, so beautiful that it is worth telling it from start to finish: ball won in mid-court by Aranguiz, immediately in Wirtz, the jewel of Leverkusen, in Diaby, in Wirtz, in Palacios, in Wirtz, in Aranguiz, set shot and goal. Those of Atalanta always came a moment later, when the ball was already gone.
THE M2 OF BERGAMO – Gasperini’s team suffered the blow, they staggered, but all together, as a real team, as a great team, they emerged from their suffering around 20 ‘and three minutes later they equalized. Also in this case, a great goal: ball caught by Freuler from the feet of the confusing Frimpong and immediate departure towards the goal of Hradecky, then Malinovskyi, Muriel, Malinovskyi, control in full area and left at the far post. Atalanta is back with all its splendor. This time it was Bayer who took the draw heavily, so much so that it was doubled within a hundred seconds. And once again a goal of applause: Toloi anticipated Adli, an old flame of Milan who was a little off in Bergamo, Malinovskyi missed Tapsoba, left touch for Muriel and left lip of the Colombian. The overtaking was accomplished thanks to the M2 from Bergamo, Muriel and Malinovskyi, who in the 90th minute will only put their names in the scoreboard, with 2 goals and an assist for the Colombian, a goal and two assists for the Ukrainian.
THEN ALL ATALANTA – Gasperini had put De Roon to mark Wirtz (who thus was largely limited) and had bet everything on the left wing to attack Bayer. He knew that Diaby and Frimpong, the occupants of that area, would have suffered the raids of Zappacosta who started well but arrived badly, deciding to finish at the net with the goalkeeper always well placed, rather than putting the cross in the middle. In the last 5 minutes of the first half, Atalanta finished four times in the German goal with a certain danger. It was a really beautiful 45 minutes, full of games, racing and duels. Demiral won all those with Alario, the replacement for Schick who was missing from Bayer perhaps more than Zapata was missing from Atalanta.
AGAIN THEM – If they had finished the first half dominating, Atalanta started the second even with more strength and quality. After 4 ‘he scored 3-1 with the usual award-winning firm, Malinovskyi’s ball for Muriel’s blow, this time with a right. Bayer’s defense seemed very uncertain, as did shortly after when Hradecky saved her from a safe 4-1 by deflecting a penalty in motion by Muriel, unstoppable for the Germans, after Freuler’s assist. Atalanta was putting Bayer in a clear crisis, even Hateboer had the opportunity for the fourth goal, another great save from the Finnish Hradecky. Then the Bayer coach, the Swiss Seoane, made a strange move: under two goals, he removed a striker (Alario, a ghost) to put in a defender, Kossonou. And suddenly, emerging from a serious and unexpected difficulty, Bayer shortened with his first shot on goal of the second half, a deadly left from Diaby.
WITH BOGA – The 3-2 was really too much of a reward for the Leverkusen team. Gasperini tried to give another acceleration with Boga in place of Malinovskyi, protagonist of an amazing match. Atalanta has restarted, even if no longer with the clarity of the first hour of the match. Boga had some ideas, but he lacked the nastiness. He is not yet in the world of Atalanta.
Atalanta 3-2 Bayer Leverkusen (first half 2-1)
Scorers: Aranguiz 11 ‘pt, Malinovskyi 23’ pt, Muriel 25 ‘pt and 4’ st, Diaby 18 ‘st
Assist: Wirtz 11 ‘pt, Muriel 23’ pt, Malinovskyi 25 ‘pt and 4’ st
Bookings: Toloi, Bakker, Wirtz
ATALANTA (3-4-1-2): Musso; Toloi, Demiral, Djimsiti (from 24 ‘st Palomino); Hateboer, de Roon, Freuler, Zappacosta (from 33 ‘st Maehle); Koopmeiners; Malinovskyi (from 24 ‘st Boga), Muriel (from 32’ st Miranchuk). Herds Gasperini
BAYER LEVERKUSEN (4-2-3-1): Hradecky; Frimpong (from 35 ‘st Fosu-Mensah), Tah, Tapsoba, Bakker; Aranguiz, Palacios; Adli (from 36 ‘st Paulinho), Wirtz (from 40’ st Azmoun), Diaby; Alario (from 16 ‘st Kossounou). Coach: Seoane
Referee: Jovanovic (Serbia)