Coppa Italia: Round of 16 / Team rating: 7 / Top scorer: Denis (13)
After a 2012-13 campaign where the Nerazzurri finished 15th and just eight points above the relegation zone, 2013-14 brought a marked improvement, writes Sam Lewis.
Stefano Colantuono’s team continued in a vein not dissimilar to the one prior, to begin the season, winning just one game from their first five before a three match winning streak against Udinese, Chievo Verona and Lazio came in October.
Atalanta maintained an on-off pace throughout the season, winning just one game in 10 from late October before earning their sixth victory of the season on January 12. It started an upturn of form that culminated in a shock 3-0 over Napoli in early February thanks to a double from German Denis, a familiar savour for the Bergamo side.
What guaranteed Atalanta’s 2014 safety and created the foundation for the season’s 11th placed finish was an unprecedented six game win streak that propelled Colantuono’s side up the standings. The streak included wins against Inter and Lazio while just two goals were conceded in that period.
A huge part of the surprising success the Nerazzurri have had this season has been their home form, from which they have won 11 of their 19 home games, losing just five. In fact, La Dea’s home record was fourth best in the League - only Juventus, Roma and Napoli can boast a better return from their own ground.
Despite not being a particularly prolific side – ending the season with a -8 goal difference – 23 goals and 14 assists combined from German Denis, Maxi Moralez and Giacomo Bonaventura provided 53 per cent of the Oribici’s goal tally and ensured that Atalanta were able to grind out results throughout the year.
After a chaotic 2012-13 campaign that was marked by corruption and relegation worries, Stefano Colantuono and his boys from Bergamo were able to enjoy a season of tangible progress.
Now in his fourth year in charge, Stefano Colantuono has maintained his role in the typically impatient Serie A by consistently meeting expectations set to him by Atalanta’s board. This year has been no different, with the 51-year-old keeping his side organized, industrious and tough to beat at home.
Despite the aforementioned offensive contributions from Bonaventura, Denis and Moralez, Luca Cigarini has been the model of consistency, keeping Atalanta’s midfield ticking over in possession while also providing gritty, defensive cover. Seven assists also speak of a player with a sharp eye for the movements of others. Vital this season.
- Atalanta have the fourth best home record in Serie A, but the sixth worst away record.
- The club won just three penalties this season, the third fewest in Serie A.
- La Dea only have one player with more than 10 goals scored this season. German Denis with 13 has over twice as many goals as their next best goal-scorer, Giacomo Bonaventura, who has five.
|27||D||Cristiano Del Grosso||19||-||-|
|91||A||Giuseppe De Luca||17||4||2|