BSS : 11 FEBRUARY, 2021, 10:09 AM
Italy’s Matteo Pessina scored twice as Atalanta beat holders Napoli 3-1 on aggregate on Wednesday to book a place in
the Italian Cup final.
Pessina’s efforts, both set up by Duvan Zapata, were enough to secure Atalanta a second final in three seasons, after the goalless first leg, where they will face Juventus.
On Tuesday, Juve’s goalless draw with Inter Milan took them to the May 19 final in Rome after winning the first leg 2-1.
“It’s a great satisfaction. We dedicate it to the fans,” Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini said.
“We will think about the final later. For us it’s already a great success. Now we have many important games, we will host Real Madrid. That will be an event for Bergamo,” he added ahead of hosting the Spanish giants in the
Champions League last 16 on February 24.
Gasperini made four changes from Saturday’s draw with Torino, with his side three points off Roma in the final Champions League spot.
Gennaro Gattuso brought Nigeria attacker Victor Osimhen in for Matteo Politano in five alterations from Napoli’s weekend loss at Genoa.
Osimhen, who joined the club from Lille in September, started his first game since November after recovering from a shoulder injury and coronavirus.
“As we are, another team could have conceded four-five goals, we had the strength to react,” the former AC Milan midfielder said.
“For Osimhen it was not easy to return after 94 days out, at times he did good things but he lacks his main talent which is his speed. I am not sorry but he can do more.”
Colombia forward Zapata opened the scoring on 10 minutes to take his season tally up to 12 goals.
He picked up possession outside the away box and rifled a powerful shot past fellow countryman David Ospina in the Napoli goal.
Pessina doubled the advantage six minutes later in a dominant opening quarter for Gasperini’s men.
He claimed his second of the campaign after a delicate one-touch assist from Zapata in the box.
The lead was halved eight minutes after the break as the visitors started the second half aggressively.
Osimhen had his side-footed effort deflected in the area before winger Hirving Lozano beat Pierluigi Gollini at the second time of asking.
Atalanta’s place in the final was secured with 12 minutes to play as Pessina claimed his second.
Another tidy assist from Zapata set up the 23-year-old again as Napoli’s defence were caught flat-footed.
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