Wednesday May 15 2019
Coppa Italia: Atalanta bow to Lazio

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic came off the bench and Joaquin Correa completed an extraordinary counter for Lazio to beat Atalanta and win their seventh Coppa Italia.

It also means they have qualified for the Europa League group phase.

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The Bergamo Boys were the break-out team of the season, currently sitting in that fourth Champions League berth in Serie A and in their first Coppa Italia Final since 1996, having won the trophy only once in 1963. It was Lazio’s 10th Final, lifting the Cup six times before, most recently in 2013.

Rafael Toloi was the only absentee for Atalanta, while Sergej Milinkovic-Savic was only for the bench. These sides had met just 10 days ago in Serie A, the Orobici fighting back from an early Marco Parolo goal to win 3-1 here.

Papu Gomez had the first shot on target parried by Thomas Strakosha within 70 seconds, but Lazio took control and Lucas Leiva’s header was wide of the back post.

Atalanta had a huge chance on 25 minutes, as a free kick found Marten de Roon’s half-volley to bounce off the upright, another attempt was charged down and eventually Duvan Zapata nodded off target from six yards. De Roon’s shot had taken a deflection off the hand of Bastos, but VAR considered it too close range to be considered worthy of a penalty.

Simone Inzaghi became concerned at Bastos already being on a yellow card and took him off after just 35 minutes for Stefan Radu, who had been tipped to start.

Luis Alberto curled a free kick over after Andrea Masiello brought down Tucu Correa on the counter and Duvan Zapata was again unable to keep his header on target at the back post.

Strakosha parried a Timothy Castagne snapshot straight after the restart and the goalkeeper smothered at Duvan Zapata’s feet after a cheeky Josip Ilicic back-heel flick.

Jose Luis Palomino needed a sensational sliding tackle to stop Correa, who was going clear on goal after a Berat Djimsiti error.

Gomez turned Parolo inside out at the by-line and managed to eventually clip the near post from the tightest of angles.

Milinkovic-Savic made his comeback after almost a month out and made an immediate impact, scoring after three minutes of his introduction. His towering header on a corner flew into the far top corner, leaving Pierluigi Gollini rooted to the spot.

The Atalanta goalkeeper also rushed off his line to smother as Correa went clear moments later, but Tucu did make his mark on a classic counter from the centre-circle.

Caicedo’s long clearance from a free kick in the Lazio area saw Correa turn on the turbo, skip round Remo Freuler and Gollini, then beat the attempted goal-line clearance.

Papu Gomez was last to give in, his finish grazing the upright in stoppages, 

Atalanta 0-2 Lazio

Milinkovic-Savic 82 (L), Correa 90 (L)

Atalanta: Gollini; Masiello, Palomino, Djimsiti; Hateboer, De Roon (Pasalic 84), Freuler, Castagne (Gosens 84); Ilicic, Gomez; Duvan Zapata (Barrow 84)

Lazio: Strakosha; Luiz Felipe, Acerbi, Bastos (Radu 35); Marusic, Parolo, Leiva, Luis Alberto (Milinkovic-Savic 78), Lulic; Correa, Immobile (Caicedo 66)

Ref: Banti