The friendly with the Germans, Napoli’s rivals in the Champions League, ends 2-2. Then Toloi’s mistake gives away the Bortolotti Trophy
The lottery of penalties condemns Atalanta but at the Gewiss Stadium there is still a festive atmosphere, thanks to the historic bond of friendship that binds the fans of the two teams on the pitch. Four years after the last time, the Bortolotti Trophy returns to Bergamo, the tournament dedicated to the memory of the two late presidents of the Goddess of the past, Achille and Cesare. The winners of the 25th edition of the competition are the guests of Eintracht Frankfurt, reigning champions of the Europa League and next opponent of Spalletti’s Napoli in the round of 16 of the Champions League. The match ran on balance (2-2): on the one hand the goals from Lookman and Hojlund (who took the woodwork each), on the other the brace from Alario. It goes to penalties. And from the penalty spot Toloi’s mistake gives the cup to the Germans.
Gasperini relies on the 3-4-2-1. To protect Musso there are Toloi, Palomino and Scalvini (with Demiral kept at rest due to inflammation). Hateboer and Ruggeri start on the wings while in the midfield, given the absences of De Roon, Koopmeiners and Pasalic (committed to the World Cup), space for the unprecedented couple Malinovskyi-Ederson. Lookman and Boga complete the picture, in support of the lone striker Hojlund (preferred to Zapata and Muriel). After an initial study phase, Atalanta unlocks the match already in the quarter of an hour of play: Hojlund’s shot from the left, Lookman’s touch into an empty net and ball in the bag (15′). The Germans feel the pinch. And the Goddess came close to an encore twice: first Boga (32′) and then Hojlund (36′) however only came close to doubling. In the fraction finale the Glasner gang lights up. In the 40th minute Tuta took advantage of a wrong clearance by Musso and hit the post. Preparatory episode to the away draw, signed in the 43rd minute by Alario, quick to reiterate Toloi’s rejection on the net. On the wave of enthusiasm, Eintracht puts the arrow and completes the comeback after returning from rest. In the 3′ Alario (in a suspected offside position) takes advantage of the assist from the newcomer Loune and scores his personal brace. The reaction from Bergamo was immediate and equalized in the 5th minute. Deep suggestion from Boga for Hojlund and winning diagonal from the Dane behind Ramaj: 2-2. Hojlund himself hit the crossbar from distance in the eighth minute, just before being replaced by Muriel. From the 11′ on the field, among others, also Zapata. However, the Colombian tandem is struggling to break through. And the swirl of changes (on both sides) slows down the pace. In the 30th minute another wood for Atalanta, hit by Lookman. It’s the last flicker of the match. And at the end of regulation time it goes straight to penalties, kicked under the Curva Nord. Everyone scores (even Pellegrini, on loan in Germany from Juventus) except Toloi. His mistake decides the match. And he enters the name of Eintracht Frankfurt in the register of cup winners: it is the second time since the Germans had already won the event in 2016 (again on penalties after a 2-2 draw).
(3-4-2-1): Musso (11′ st Sportiello); Toloi, Palomino (11′ st Grown), Scalvini; Hateboer (33′ st Zortea), Ederson, Malinovskyi (11′ st Djimsiti), Ruggeri; Lookman (33′ st Soppy), Boga (11′ st Muriel); Hojlund (11′ st Shoes). All. Gasperini
December 9 – 11.40pm
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