Atalanta Bergamo – Fiorentina: Papu and Iličić deliver killer blows in hard-fought Coppa Italia semi final (2-1)
This Coppa Italia semi-final second leg did not fail to deliver goals – just as it did in their 3-3 draw in the first leg – however, it did fall short of being equally as entertaining. Whilst there was still plenty of end-to-end action, much of the play was lacking fluidity in the final third, mostly thanks to the tactical adjustments made by Vincenzo Montella, who had replaced Stefano Pioli as Fiorentina manager since the first leg took place.
Tactical analysis and match report by Peter M.
Following a massive 2-1 victory at the Stadio San Paolo on Monday, which keeps their top four hopes alive, Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta wanted to go one step further by reaching the final of the Coppa Italia. With that in mind, the manager made very few changes – just three in total – with Josip Iličić returning to the side along with Robin Gosens and José Luis Palomino in place of Mario Pašalić, Hans Hateboer and Gianluca Mancini.
On the other side of the coin are Fiorentina, who, incidentally, have not won since February. Having gone close at the Allianz Stadium against Juventus prior to this encounter, Montella also opted to make three changes, which saw Bryan Dabo, Giovanni Simeone and David Hancko depart the starting eleven for Gerson, Luis Muriel and Cristiano Biraghi.
The visitors get off to a flier
Interestingly, Montella strayed from Fiorentina’s more typical 4-3-3 shape to go with with a 3-5-1-1 formation. This way they . . .