Spezia and Atalanta Playout Goalless Serie A Draw

Saturday night saw the return of Atalanta to club duty as they sort to make ground on leaders Milan. Spezia though proved to be tough opposition and held La Dea to a stalemate in a game that proved to be bereft of chances.

Gian Piero Gasperini made a raft of changes for the visitors recalling talismanic Slovenian Josip Illicic up front alongside Colombian Duvan Zapata and Captain Alejandro Gomez. Also in came Pierluigi Gollini in goal, José Palomino in defense and a revamped midfield in Robin Gosens, Matteo Pessina, Marten De Roon, and Fabio Depaoli.

For the home side Diego Farias came back into the team to replace Kevin Agudelo with the Brazilian Farias being a key figure on Spezia’s return to life in Serie A. There were also changes in defense with Julian Chabot and Salva Ferrer being replaced by Luca Vignali and Martin Erlić respectively.

Both sides came close to opening the scoring in an open first half. First Farias for Spezia curling an effort against the far post with Gollini beaten then Zapata for Atalanta towards the end of the half controlling inside the box before his effort back across the goalkeeper struck the post and bounced out to a relieved Spezia defense.

Spezia were well drilled in defense and looked to break any of the Orobici’s rhythm with a series of niggly fouls with Papu Gomez on the receiving end of the majority alongside right wing back Depaoli who went off injured to be replaced by Cristiano Piccini.

Gomez made way for Mario Pašalić at half time as Atalanta sort to step up a gear and break down the Spezia dogged defense.

Atalanta had a goal ruled out for offside just after the restart. A high looping cross into the Spezia box was flicked on by Zapata to a waiting Robin Gosens who hit a half volley, cutting across the ball sending it flying into the bottom left hand corner. After a VAR review it was evident the striker returned from an offside position before heading the ball to Gosens.

Emmanuel Gyasi tested Gollini for the home team with a neat turn in the box, but his left footed effort was beaten away at his near post by the goalkeeper. Zapata was replaced just after the hour mark by Sam Lammers who was immediately into action nearly scoring from outside the box, having a curled effort saved by Ivan Provedel.

The second half continued to ebb and flow but no real chances presented themselves and this will be a welcome point for Spezia as they look to continue their positive start to the season.

It is back to the drawing board for Gasperini as he looks to rekindle some of the early season magic with a daunting trip to Anfield next in the Champions League the manager has his work cut out.

Spezia meanwhile travel to Serie A rivals Bologna in the Fourth Round of the Coppa Italia and confidence will be high ahead of the trip.



November 21, 2020 – Serie A 2020-2021 Round 8

SPEZIA (4-3-3): Provedel; Vignali (55′ Mattiello), Terzi (75′ Chabot), Erlic, Bastoni (62′ Marchizza); Estevez (75′ Deiola), Ricci, Pobega (46′ Maggiore); Farias, Nzola, Gyasi (Krapikas, Rafael, Acampora, Mora, Agoumé, Deiola, Agudelo, Piccoli) Coach: Italiano
ATALANTA (3-4-2-1): Gollini; Toloi, Romero, Palomino; Depaoli (25′ Piccini; 84′ Sutalo), De Roon, Pessina, Gosens; Ilicic (84′ Miranchuk), Gomez (46′ Pasalic); Zapata (67′ Lammers) (Rossi, Sportiello, Sutalo, Freuler, Ruggeri, Diallo) Coach: Gasperini

REFEREE: Mr. Rapuano from Rimini
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Ricci, Estevez, Terzi (S), Gosens, Pasalic, Pessina (A)