Coppa Italia: Round of 32 / Team rating: 6 / Top scorer: Gomez (7)
Despite losing their top talents to the transfer market, Edy Reja again took the Orobici to comfortable safety, writes Susy Campanale.
Every season Atalanta start out feeling tense about what lies ahead and seeing their most promising players move on to bigger clubs, yet somehow they remain in the top flight to continue churning out new talents from their world class youth academy.
Coach Edy Reja just about clung on to his place this time, as a run of 14 rounds without a win saw even the wily old fox feel the burn. Despite that dismal streak from December to March, they never actually dropped into the bottom three at any stage.
A dip in that period was inevitable, as Maxi Moralez was suddenly sold to Mexican club Leon, Alberto Grassi moved to the Napoli bench and German Denis returned to Argentina following an emotional farewell.
There were still highlights for the local fans in what ultimately proved to be a fairly comfortable campaign. The Bergamo boys emerged unbeaten against Roma, securing a shock 2-0 victory at the Olimpico and thrilling 3-3 draw on home turf, held Inter and defeated Milan 2-1.
The big clubs have already set their sights on Marten de Roon, Berat Djimsiti and Remo Freuler for next season.
The oldest tactician in Serie A still has a few tricks up his sleeve and clung on to the Atalanta bench even after a 14-round winless run. It cannot be easy for a Coach to see half his squad sold off every six months and still build a solid team.
Papu Gomez was decisive with his pace and attacking instincts down the wing. What he lacks in height and power, he more than makes up for in dexterity and fancy footwork. After Maxi Moralez and Denis left, more responsibility fell on his shoulders.
- Atalanta are safe for the fifth year running, a streak they hadn’t enjoyed since 1988-94.
- Gianpaolo Bellini retired after 435 competitive games for the Orobici, 281 in Serie A, and converted his first penalty in the final match.
- The last round of the season was Edy Reja’s 1,000th professional game as a Coach in Italy.
|3||D||Rafael Toloi||24 (3)||1||-|
|28||D||Davide Brivio||14 (4)||-||-|
|24||D||Andrea Conti||14 (4)||2||-|
|5||D||Andrea Masiello||29 (2)||-||1|
|33||D||Nicolo Cherubin||14 (4)||1||-|
|2||D||Guglielmo Stendardo||15 (3)||1||-|
|6||D||Gianpaolo Bellini||15 (4)||1||-|
|10||M||Alejandro Gomez||34 (1)||7||9|
|11||M||Maxi Moralez||17 (1)||5||2|
|15||M||Marten De Roon||36 (1)||1||2|
|21||M||Luca Cigarini||25 (4)||2||2|
|27||M||Jasmin Kurtic||32 (2)||2||-|
|17||M||Carlos Carmona||8 (3)||-||-|
|11||M||Remo Freuler||6 (1)||-||-|
|7||M||Marco D'Alessandro||23 (12)||3||3|
|20||M||Marcelo Estigarribia||4 (4)||-||-|
|4||M||Luigi Giorgi||1 (1)||-||-|
|8||M||Giuglio Migliaccio||18 (15)||-||-|
|77||M||Cristian Raimondi||18 (12)||-||-|
|13||M||Serge Gakpe||5 (5)||-||-|
|51||A||Mauricio Pinilla||20 (4)||5||3|
|23||A||Alessandro Diamanti||16 (7)||1||1|
|19||A||German Denis||15 (3)||4||1|
|45||A||Gaetano Monachello||10 (7)||-||-|
|22||A||Marco Borriello||15 (7)||4||2|