Tuesday, April 23, 2019
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Tonight the glass is only half empty

A siege to the white weapon. 32 attempts (of which 18 in the mirror) towards Dragowski's door that has collected an endless series of parades for a 0-0 that represents a very bitter pill to swallow and brakes the Goddess in the European race. Atalanta-Empoli ends up with white nets and it is only the Nerazzurri who have to complain about an endless series of wasted goal balls. It had to be the night of the engagement to Milan with the concrete possibility to detach in a meaningful way the pursuers and instead it will be up to suffer up to the end trying not to get caught up in the frenzy and continuing to always play football as we have seen to do also against the Tuscans . The best in the field, for detachment, is the goalkeeper of Empoli Dragowsk, who has put on a series of parades with applause without interruption. Now forward, with confidence and looking to the next: no calculations can be made, the championship does not grant it.

No surprises in the choices of Gasperini from the first minute: Ilicic returns to play and plays from the beginning with Zapata, while to suggest there is Gomez who falls in the position of the last weeks. In the middle of the field Hateboer and Gosens are the two externals (Chestnuts on the bench), while in the center they play Freuler and de Roon in front of the three-line line composed by Mancini, Masiello and Palomino. In goal Gollini, with Berisha sitting on the bench near Djimsiti in the evening in which there is also Edy Reja, a former Goddess technician and Albania's new technical commissioner, who will not be able to admire them live. In the Empoli absent Maietta and Silvestre, in defense there is the Greek Nikolaou with Caputo and Farias forward. Big eye on the stands with over nineteen thousand spectators; a hundred those arrived from Empoli. Ready, go and Empoli is immediately dangerous. Ball from the back for Farias (3 ’), the ex-Cagliari number 17 flies to the left and after a swerving look with the right for the lowest corner finding the rebound in Gollini's diving, which is very good to put in a corner. The Goddess does not get upset: at 5 'Gomez tries from outside but the right is muffled and from 10' onwards a real Nerazzurri siege begins. Gomez and Ilicic pack a colossal opportunity for Hateboer (10 ’), the Dutch from close range manages not to hit the back door with the whole stadium that was already screaming for the goal. At 23 'de Roon from outside the area tries with his right, forcing Dragowski to the beautiful diving parade; at 24 'Masiello puts a cross over the crossbar to Ilicic's kiss and at 26' the double chance is even glaring: first Freuler frees himself in the area and finds Veseli on the line to reject, immediately afterwards it is Zapata who finds a Tuscan leg again (this time it is Nikolaou) to say no before Traore sweeps the penalty area with a touch of shoulder.

Atalanta does not stop for a moment: at 28 'de Roon steals a nice ball in pressing on the goalkeeper's revival and serves Ilicic, but the Slovenian's left-footed shot finds Dragowski still ready to say no for a 0-0 which also resists the attempts of Mancini (33 '), Zapata (43') and Ilicic (44 '). The last chance of the first half is by Ilicic on a free kick, the barrier rejects and Manganiello sends everyone into the locker room for something hot. The recovery, if possible, is even more shocking than the first portion of the game: at 48 'Gomez draws Hateboer on the far post but the Dutch is once again inaccurate by two steps and at 50' he tries Zapata on an assist from Ilicic, but once again the extreme defender from Empoli is very good at saying no. At 51 'doubt contact in the area between Nikolaou and Zapata (the push is there but the referee does play), at 54' Hateboer tries again with a nice cross-shot but the number 69 of Empoli is amazing to parry with the foot; in the 56th minute the Empoli goalkeeper still rejects Hateboer's shot; at 61 'Zapata on a cross from the usual Papu hit the ball without a shot but found the mirror for less than two meters. The Nerazzurri continue to push without peace: at 64 'Zapata and 65' Hateboer are still imprecise, while at 69 'the ball combination on the ground between the Slovenian and the Colombian leads to Ilicic shooting, which does not find the mirror. The guests almost never get out of the penalty area: on 73 minutes Mancini peels the ball in reverse and at 80 minutes Gomez sends Curva Pisani a nice backward touch from Hateboer from the spot. In the final Gasperini throws both Barrow and 2001 Piccoli for Zapata and Gomez into the fray. After a good opportunity Di Lorenzo (83 ', would have been a joke), the last fireworks of the Goddess arrive, with Ilicic trying three times (85' on the bottom, 89 'and 93' with Dragowski who rejects as he can) ), but the great opportunity from two steps happens on the feet of Mancini (90 '), who deflects a Barrow's shot from heel and but fails to overcome the usual Superman from Empoli. After 4 minutes of recovery, the match ends 0-0 for the second consecutive time (third in the season in Serie A) and seeing the glass half full is really complicated tonight: back you can't go back, the team remains in full run but the two points left against Empoli risk becoming very heavy for the championship final.

Atalanta-Empoli 0-0

Atalanta (3-4-1-2): Gollini; Mancini, Palomino, Masiello; Hateboer, de Roon, Freuler, Gosens (60 ’Chestnuts); Gomez (88 'Small); Ilicic, Zapata (80 ’Barrow). All. Gasperini.

Empoli (3-5-2): Dragowski; Veseli, Nikolau (79 ’Rasmussen), Dell’Orco; Di Lorenzo, Traore, Bennacer, Krunic, Antonelli (14 ’Pasqual); Farias (41 ’Oberlin), Caputo. Andreazzoli.

Referee: Manganiello di Pinerolo (Alassio and Vuoto; Nasca; Guida and Vivenzi).

Booked: 19 ’Palomino (A), 29’ Dell’Orco (E), 47’pt Bennacer (A), 61 ’Veseli (E).

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