Atalanta Bergamo – SSC Napoli: Ancelotti’s side edge out tight encounter with ambitious Atalanta
Atalanta dominated possession and fought hard for most of the match. But a defensive strategy that aimed to mark the home side’s key players out of the game and individual quality up front was enough for Napoli to secure three points.
Tactical analysis by Martyn Davis.
Atalanta have become well known for their man-oriented pressing and possession-based style of football. Their coach Gian Piero Gasperini is also someone who is not afraid to field young players. With an Expected Goal The amount of goals a team is expected to score based on the quality of the shots they take. difference of 7.7, they ranked third in the league in this metric - behind only Juventus and their opponents Napoli going into this game. In terms of results, Atalanta saw a four game winning streak brought to an end by a 3-2 defeat against Empoli prior to this match.
Napoli have had to adapt to life under new coach Carlo Ancelotti. Without Maurizio Sarri, they have moved away from the 4-3-3 formation and have primarily used a 4-4-2 this season. They still tend to see a lot of the ball, with a group of technically talented players they have retained some of the principles that defined them under Sarri. Their Expected Goal difference halved that of title rival’s Juventus before this match, but they remained the second best team in terms of underlying performance numbers. This is testament to the one sidedness of the Serie A title race. Napoli had won nine out of their opening 13 games . . .