The Top Five Managers From the 2018/19 Serie A Season


Finally, we end the series with the ‘allenatori,’ the men in charge of the day to day and marathon that is 38 crucial rounds of calcio.

Here are the five best managers from this past season. Continue reading

Champions League Race: A Comprehensive Breakdown

With the Champions League race going down to the wire in Serie A, the final match-day promises to make for exciting viewing. Atalanta, Inter and Milan are separated by a mere point, while the possibility of Roma sneaking in can’t be discounted either.

At the moment, it is Gasperini’s men, and Spalletti’s nerazzurri that control their own fate, while the other two sides are on the outside looking in – albeit a little too close for comfort. As entry to Europe’s elite competition promises a pitfall of cash and prestige, achieving Champions League football is of the utmost importance, and could have serious repercussions on any of these sides’ transfer windows.

Let’s being with Gasperini’s Atalanta. Against all odds, gli Orobici find themselves in third, and control their own destiny in their final game. Win, and they qualify for the Champions League. After an impressive season that saw them play high-flying football, and reach the Coppa Italia final, Atalanta could cap it off with a berth in next season’s Champions League.

While technically they are the home side for this clash, Atalanta have recently been remodelling their stadium, conveniently relocated all their remaining home games to Sassuolo. As luck would have it, Atalanta’s last game is, of course, against Sassuolo.

The neroverdi have nothing to play for, but have always proven to be a difficult opposition. However, in their first game, Gasperini’s men dispatched them rather easily, pumping six past Sassuolo. With Duvan Zapata, Alejandro Gomez, and Josip Ilicic firing on all cylinders, they should have enough to beat the “visitors”.

Inter, on the other hand, take on Empoli at the San Siro. With Empoli languishing in and around the relegation zone, the Tuscan-based outfit will be fighting for their life, and won’t be easy to overcome. In fact, Aurelio Andreazzoli’s men have been one of the league’s most in-form sides, winning their last three games. As a result, this clash won’t be as straightforward as the table suggests, and the nerazzurri will need to be at their best.

Inter’s cross-town rivals, Milan, will be travelling to the Stadio Paolo Mazza to take on SPAL 2013. After months of being in the top four, the rossoneri now find themselves in fifth, however, just one point back of Atalanta and Inter. Should Gattuso’s men claim the victory, and either of their competitors drops points, Milan will be making their long-awaited return to Champions League football. If they don’t, however, they will be kicking themselves, as they were in the driver’s seat for the most part of the season.

While Milan will need some help to qualify, at the very least, their odds are better than Roma’s. Ranieri’s men will need a small miracle to qualify on the final match-day. They’ll need to beat Parma by five clear goals, while Milan and Inter lose, and Atalanta avoid defeat. Unlikely.

Otherwise, they’ll need to win, while all of their other competitors lose their games. Another unlikely scenario. Much like Milan, Roma have themselves to blame for this, and have been dropping points to the league’s provinciali all season.

In any case, whichever way this race ends, there will be fireworks. Either Gasperini’s Atalanta cap off their phenomenal cinderella season in impressive fashion, or both Milan giants will be returning to Europe’s elite competition together. And Roma, well, best of luck. You’ll need it.

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Josip Iličić, the linchpin at the heart of Atalanta’s UCL dream

ROVETTA 08-07 -2018- ATALANTA  CAMPIONATO SERIE A TIN 2018-19  .Alberto mariani - silpress

Atalanta’s 2018-19 Serie A campaign has been nothing short of a fairytale thus far, as the club currently occupies the 4th UEFA Champions League spot with just four matches remaining. The Goddess, led by Italian mastermind Gian Piero Gasperini, currently holds her destiny in the palm of her hand and, if the stars align, will play Champions League football for the first time next season.

Beyond the 61-year old’s craftsmanship in molding young talent, which reportedly is of grave interest to the Milan hierarchy, Atalanta’s surge this campaign has been ignited by a bastion of individuals – young, old and everywhere in between. Specifically, captain Papu Gómez and capocannoniere contender Duván Zapata have formed a “little and big” relationship that is compatible with Gasperini’s vision for a high-powered offense, but the creative juices of Josip Iličić have been flowing so much that he has become the linchpin at the heart of Atalanta’s UCL dream. Continue reading

Blitzed in Bergamo: Inter thrashed as Atalanta deal harsh reality check


During an interview with DAZN ahead of yesterday afternoon’s match against Atalanta, Inter CEO Alessandro Antonello warned Luciano Spalletti’s players of the potential danger that comes with facing Gian Piero Gasperini’s men: “We need to stay alert, Bergamo is traditionally a very difficult place to visit and it’s never easy to get a result here. We’re counting on our players’ focus to continue on this positive run in the league following the big match against Barcelona in the Champions League.” Continue reading

Spalletti warns Inter stars against complacency ahead of Atalanta clash


Luciano Spalletti held his traditional pre-match press conference today ahead of his side’s trip to Bergamo where they will face Atalanta tomorrow afternoon. The 59-year-old addressed a variety of issues, including the recent performances of João Mário, Milan Škriniar and Samir Handanović. He also discussed José Mourinho’s celebration after Manchester United’s 2-1 victory over Juventus at the Allianz Stadium. Here is what he had to say: Continue reading

Il declino di Genoa e Sampdoria

Ferrero - Preziosi

A Genova non si sogna piu’. Sembra passata era geologica da quando Genoa e Sampdoria battagliavano per le prime posizioni della classifica. Nel 2008/2009 la formazione rossoblù guidata da Gasperini aveva raggiunto il 4° posto a pari punti con la Fiorentina perdendo la Champions per la differenza negli scontri diretti. La stagione dopo era toccato alla Sampdoria, protagonista con Delneri fino alla conquista dei preliminari di Champions League. Dopo 7 anni la situazione e’ precipitata: Genoa e Sampdoria combattono tristemente con le matricole Carpi e Frosinone per evitare la retrocessione.

La formazione di Gasperini occupa infatti la quart’ultima piazza con 16 punti raccolti in 16 giornate e soli due punti di vantaggio sul Frosinone, terz’ultimo. Martedi’ in coppa e’ arrivato l’ennesimo clamoroso tonfo, con i rossoblu che a Marassi si sono fatti battere dall’Alessandria, formazione che milita in Lega Pro nel sedicesimo di finale di Coppa Italia. La societa’ ah deciso di chiudersi a riccio per risolvere internamente i problemi attuando il silenzio stampa. Anche la posizione di Gasperini e’ in bilico e rischia di non mangiare il panettone in caso di una nuova sconfitta domenica con la Roma. L’umore dei tifosi non e’ dei migliori, per usare un eufenismo, con le contestazioni, sopratutto verso il presidente Preziosi che si sono gia’ manifestate nel corso della partita di Coppa Italia. A gennaio, il presidente genoano dovra’ per forza di cose intervenire sul mercato per completare una rosa che e’ parsa a tutti incompleta.

Se Atene piange, Sparta non ride. La Sampdoria ha solo un punto in piu’ del Genoa, occupa la quindicesima posizione in campionato con 17 punti e ha raccolto solamente un pareggio, nella partita di domenica scorsa con la Lazio, nelle ultime cinque partite. A dire il vero, i blucerchiati stavano disputando una stagione ordinaria, ma il presidente Ferrero, convinto di chissa’ quale potenziale avesse la squadra, ha deciso di esonerare Zenga e sostuituirlo con Montella. La sua scelta si e’ pero’ rivelata controproducente e una serie di sconfitte hanno fatto scivolare la Sampdoria a ridosso della zona retrocessione. Con ben 26 gol subiti, la difesa sembra essere il reparto dove Ferrero dovra’ per forza di cose intervenire a gennaio. Una piazza come Genova non puo’ tollerare ulteriori scivoloni.