Atalanta Bergamo – Juventus: Maurizio Sarri’s Adjustments Prove Decisive Once Again (1-3)
Although no team was able to exert control for large portions of the game, Atalanta dominated Juve in terms of creating chances in the first half. A strong start to the second half saw Gasperini’s men take the lead. Just when Atalanta seemed to have reached safe waters, Maurizio Sarri’s adjustments altered the contest.
Tactical analysis and match report by Kareem Bianchi.
There probably is not a more significant thing that unites club football fans than international football. The two-week breaks are seen as unsustainable periods that merely serve as interruptions to the pleasantly familiar flow of club football. These negative feelings are undoubtedly shared by the club managers, who needs to sustain training sessions with depleted squads, knowing that fitness levels of the returning players are far from guaranteed.
Therefore, Maurizio Sarri having to cope with the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo, Adrien Rabiot and Alex Sandro came as no surprise. Likewise, in addition to Duván Zapata’s persisting injury, Ruslan Malinovs'kyj was ruled out of the tie, with Josip Iličić keeping them company in the stands due to suspension. Juventus’ most consistent defender and Atalanta’s second-highest scorer both cut out of the picture in an encounter that involved the best defense in Italy and the most feared attack.
Although the premises laid the foundations for an extremely interesting tactical battle, neither of the two teams could be considered at the top of their game. Juventus was still trapped in a series of unconvincing performances which Atalanta will have been eager to make the most of . . .