Soccer / atlanta
Zapata's Brace Fires Atlanta Past Juventus In Coppa Italia
Source Nothing adds more sparks to the game of football than everyone getting surprised by the outcome of a game. That moment when the least expected happens, and it beats even the gods of soccer imagination. Even though we saw similar result in England that same evening when Bournemouth humbled Chelsea 4-0 in the Premier League, it wasn't as surprising as that which transpired in Italy. The most interesting shocker of the evening was Atlanta ignominiously humiliating Almighty Juventus out of Coppa Italia. If Christiano Ronaldo hadn't played, maybe it would have been understandable. No one would have foreseen Atlanta surviving Juventus with Ronaldo leading the attack. Shits happen they say, but am excited about it though. The Old Ladies hopes of grabbing a domestic double for the fifth consecutive time was dashed by a resilient Atlanta side who are currently sitting 7th on the Seria A table. I can only imagine that feeling of being the team to humble Juventus to their first domestic defeat this season. The champions are 11 points clear on the League table with 59 points from 21 games, so this loss may really not puncture their momentum towards winning the league. However, Atlanta has sent a message across by eliminating their mutual enemy from the quarter-finals of Coppa Italia, and this is the fact that Juventus are not invincible and any team could stand up to them. Juventus dominance of Italian football for years now have made the league a bit uninteresting for passionate football lovers like me. I love the competition, I love when a Champion is beaten once in a while, especially by a presumed underdog. Not saying this out of spite or malice for Juventus, it's just my general posture towards the game. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ It's been awhile I saw Juventus Coach Massimiliano Allegri so angry during a game, but the match against Atlanta really heightened his tension, as he got himself sent off for vituperating one of the sideline referees. Such display of frustration on his first domestic defeat this season was unprecedented to many, so it was another interesting scene that caught many fans' attention. However, I was impressed by Massimiliano's maturity in accepting his fault after the game. An act I feel is Worthy of commendation, unlike what some other managers would have done. The Juventus manager showed that Sometimes we lose our temper and veer off the track, but the reaction afterwards would also go a long way to show our sense of judgment and maturity. "They were right to send me off, as I was losing my temper at the time. It's nothing to get dramatic about, as it was just an off day. Atalanta fully deserved to go through and had more verve about them. It's disappointing for us to go out, but it was mad to think Juventus could've won every single match this season. We really gave some goals away tonight. I don't see it as any alarm bell to be worried about, because it is impossible to win every game. We wanted to win the Coppa Italia for the fifth time in a row, but Atalanta were very physical and aggressive, so congratulations to them." Allegri told Rai sports. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Though the Old Ladies got a 2-1 win against Lazio before their Coppa Italia clash with Atlanta on Wednesday, we all know they got that victory through the eye of a needle. The win must have sent them 11 points clear on the league table, but Juventus were playing below their standard. It was an unconvincing victory, and their inability to mend their cracks before Wednesday's clash saw Atlanta unsettle them in the least expected way. With no Mario Mandzukic and Sami Khedira, Juventus again couldn't show any improvement from their performance against Lazio, and of course, they were not lucky this time around to get away with it at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia. Atlanta have been in goal scoring form this season in the Seria A despite sitting on the 7th position. They proved their mettle against the Italian Champions on Wednesday during their Coppa Italia victory. Gasperini's side have scored 47 goals in Seria A so far, after firing 113 shots on target. Juventus have 43 goals after 129 shots on target despite topping the league with 11 points. From the start of the match, one could tell that Atlanta was well prepared to go all the way against Juventus. Gasperini's men showed applauded dominance from the outset and it took 37th minutes for them to draw the first blood through Castagne's strike. Of course Duvan Zapata got his 19 goal of the season in all competitions to make it 2-0 for Atlanta. That second goal seems to have led the ground work for Atlanta's Coppa Italia semifinals clash against Fiorentina. After the second goal, Allegri got himself sent off out of frustration and Juventus showed no motivation of turning the table around this time around. The in-form Zapata will later get his second of the night to kill off the game. The awesome striker now has 15 goals in Seria A just like Christiano Ronaldo, and 20 goals in all competitions this season. "Something extraordinary happened this evening, seeing as even the most optimistic fan could not have foreseen such a victory. We met Juve quite a few times and only ever got draws, so it was tough to even hope for a 3-0 result. It's immensely satisfying, as doing this against Juventus gives it even more significance. I could not have asked for more and I don't just mean the result, but also the passion, the style of football, the quality. People think Atalanta just run hard and that's it, but there's more to it." Gasperini said to Rai Sport after the game.
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