Coppa Italia: Round of 16 / Team rating: 5 / Top scorer: Denis (8)
The Orobici had become accustomed to mid-table comfort, but Stefano Colantuono’s dismissal and a practical Edy Reja proved a necessary wake-up call, writes Barney Lloyd-Wood.
It would not be absurd for the average fan of Atalanta to hope for better when the new season rolls around in August. Safe, if only by three points, they must be wondering what might’ve happened if Parma were not docked seven points and been torn apart by financial problems.
Undoubtedly a team that can do more than this with a good mix of youth and experience, but it has been a season to forget for the Bergamo club. Stefano Colantuono had been the longest-serving Serie A Coach until his surprise sacking in March, sitting on the Stadio Azzurri d’Italia bench for almost five years.
Edy Reja brought a more solid approach, although they continued to struggle on home turf, perhaps feeling the pressure of performing in front of angry ultras. The tension got to German Denis, who received a five-match ban for punching Lorenzo Tonelli in a post-Empoli ambush.
While the Nerazzurri will rejoice at securing their place in the top flight again, they will be looking to push on and move away from the relegation scrap next time around. For now, their report card reads: Must try harder.
The experienced Reja, formerly of Lazio, has no doubt done well to keep Dea heads above water. He above all worked on their mentality and confidence, urging a more attacking style. With some strengthening in the summer, he could be the man to keep Atalanta fighting in the top flight should he decide to remain at the helm.
With goals scarce for Atalanta this season, the on loan forward was their second top scorer with just six (behind German Denis with eight), but the experienced Chilean was a welcome addition to the struggling side from Bergamo, with six assists, two man of the match awards and three spectacular overhead kicks.
- Atalanta went unbeaten on their travels under Edy Reja, managing one win and five stalemates.
- The Orobici set a new negative club record with eight home defeats.
- Stefano Colantuono averaged 0.92 points per game, but Reja managed 1.07 per round.
|78||GK||Giorgio Frezzolini||1 (1)||-||-|
|29||D||Yohan Benalouane||27 (2)||1||-|
|33||D||Nicolo Cherubin||13 (3)||-||-|
|2||D||Guglielmo Stendardo||24 (1)||2||-|
|93||D||Boukary Drame||28 (1)||-||4|
|3||D||Cristiano Del Grosso||13 (4)||-||1|
|22||D||Davide Zappacosta||29 (2)||3||1|
|13||D||Andrea Masiello||14 (2)||-||-|
|5||D||Lionel Scaloni||3 (2)||-||-|
|8||M||Giulio Migliaccio||20 (8)||1||-|
|95||M||Alberto Grassi||3 (1)||-||-|
|21||M||Luca Cigarini||33 (3)||-||3|
|16||M||Daniele Baselli||22 (7)||2||2|
|17||M||Carlos Carmona||33 (1)||-||-|
|77||M||Cristian Raimondi||6 (2)||-||2|
|28||M||Urby Emanuelson||9 (5)||-||3|
|11||M||Maxi Moralez||30 (4)||5||6|
|10||M||Alejandro Gomez||24 (6)||3||3|
|18||M||Marcelo Estigarribia||9 (1)||1||-|
|7||M||Marco D'Alessandro||25 (16)||-||1|
|25||M||Leonardo Spinazzola||2 (2)||-||-|
|31||M||Salvatore Molina||4 (2)||-||-|
|99||A||Richmond Boakye||19 (11)||3||-|
|19||A||German Denis||32 (5)||8||-|
|51||A||Mauricio Pinilla||14 (2)||6||2|
|9||A||Rolando Bianchi||21 (18)||-||1|
|27||A||Lorenzo Rosseti||1 (1)||-||-|