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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

May 15, 2019: Atalanta Lazio 0-2 Coppa Italia Final

Updated: 4 days ago

VICT7ORY


The Sergeant and El Tucu bring Lazio cup glory and their 7th Coppa Italia




Official SS Lazio photo

The season so far


This was a final so a game apart. Let's see how the teams got this far.


Lazio started their cup campaign in January with a 4-1 home win against Novara.


In the quarterfinal they defeated Inter away on penalties. The game was goalless after 90 minutes, then a goal by Ciro Immobile in extra time seemed to have sealed it until Mauro Icardi equalised in the 125th minute on a very controversial penalty. A Radja Nainggolan shot over the bar and Lucas Leiva on target finally got Lazio through to the Semis (4-3 on penalties).


In the home and away semi-final tie they played Milan. The home leg finished 0-0 (not a bad result when away goals still counted). The return leg in Milan was decided by a goal by Joaquin Correa in the 58th minute. Lazio were in the final!


Atalanta had defeated Cagliari 2-0 away in their first cup game. Then in the quarterfinal had dominated Juventus 3-0 in Bergamo. In the double Semi-final the Bergamaschi had drawn 3-3 away to Fiorentina and then won 2-1 at home. The "Dea" was in the final!


To give an idea of the two teams' season and form, Lazio were 8th while Atalanta were 4th. The Nerazzurri had beaten Lazio twice already this season, most recently a 3-1 away win only ten days ago. They were unbeaten since February and came from 4 consecutive wins in the league while Lazio had lost 3 out of the last five but won in Cagliari 2-1 four days before today's final.


A final was a one off and was being played in Rome but on current form most pundits considered Atalanta to be slight favourites.


The match: Wednesday, May 15, 2019, Stadio Olimpico, Rome


Ticket owned by Simon Basten

The Cup Final was played on an unseasonably cold and wet day. It had rained literally all day (I know because I had been at the nearby Foro Italico tennis tournament for eight hours and not seen one rally). The maximum temperature had been 9 degrees but the Olimpico was on fire with a packed and expectant stadium.


Lazio were without Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who had been injured, but he was on the bench. Immobile was playing but not fully match fit. Atalanta had no real injury issues and were playing with their best line-up.


In the early stages Atalanta were the more positive, while Lazio left them the initiative and hoped to strike on the break. The first shot on target was by Papu Gomez but it was safely caught by Thomas Strakosha. Lazio were compact and, with Lucas Leiva at the top of his game, occasionally had space on the counter attack. A shot by Luis Alberto was easily blocked by Pierluigi Gollini, another Luis Alberto effort was deflected by a defender into corner and Leiva had a header go wide from a Senad Lulic cross.

The biggest chance of the first half however belonged to Atalanta, and it was a multiple one. In the 26th minute, the Bergamaschi had a free kick thirty metres out and the subsequent cross was cleared, but fell to Marten de Roon whose shot came off the post and back into play. On its trajectory, however, there had been a slight deflection from Bastos' arm. There followed a scramble in the area with another attempt blocked by Bastos with a lunging, sliding movement before the ball reached de Roon again, whose shot was blocked by a defender near the line, the ball then spun up in the air but Duvan Zapata with a close range header was unable to find the target. A prolonged attack with at least three goal scoring chances plus a potential penalty.


The Atalantini were furious with the referee, firstly for not conceding the penalty and secondly for not consulting the VAR. Bastos had been jumping in the air so his arms were not aligned down his body but the ball had without doubt touched his arm so there were grounds for a possible penalty. To add insult to injury for the Atalantini, Bastos was already on a booking so could have been sent off. Simone Inzaghi soon wisely replaced him with Stefan Radu.


The game became very tense and physical with a series of hard fouls on both sides. Atalanta had a Zapata header go high but after an intense, tactical and balanced first half Luca Banti blew up. Atalanta 0 Lazio 0. Atalanta had more pressure, the post and a penalty appeal but Lazio looked as if they could do damage on the break especially with Correa.


The second half started with both teams unchanged. The first chance was Atalanta's as a long range, low shot by Timothy Castagne was blocked by Strakosha. Atalanta continued to spend more time in Lazio's half but both Josip Ilicic and especially Zapata were subdued, with only Gomez looking dangerous.


The game continued to be tense and tactical without many goal scoring chances. The neutrals might disagree but inside the stadium it was a gripping affair.


In the 66th minute, a clearly unfit Immobile was replaced by Felipe Caicedo. Lazio had a good chance with Correa, put through on goal by Luis Alberto, but a last ditch tackle by José Luis Palomino blocked El Tucu's shot on goal. For Atalanta, Gomez hit the outside of the crossbar with something between a shot and a cross.


In the 79th minute Inzaghi decided to risk Milinkovic-Savic and the Serb came on replacing Luis Alberto.


Lazio forced a series of corners and in the 82nd minute the Lazio manager's gamble was rewarded. Lucas Leiva swung a corner in from the left and the Serb "Sergeant" Milinkovic-Savic exploited his aerial authority to head the ball past Gollini. Atalanta 0 Lazio 1.

It had taken only three minutes on the field for Milinkovic-Savic to change the course of the final. Atalanta attacked, but with fading lucidity. They made three substitutions in the 84th minute; Robin Gosens, Mario Pasalic and Musa Barrow for Hans Hateboer, de Roon and Zapata.


In the 90th minute Atalanta had a free kick from 35 metres out. Gomez put the ball into Lazio's crowded area but Caicedo cleared with a big hoof. The ball went into Atalanta's half and became an assist for Correa. The Argentine rushed after the ball, just over the halfway line, and pushed it past Remo Freuler, he then ran into the area from the right and went past Gollini towards the centre of the box and with his left foot put the ball in the back of the net, despite a final desperate lunge by Gosens on the line. A fantastic goal. Atalanta 0 Lazio 2. The whole Lazio bench ran onto the pitch to celebrate this surely decisive goal.



The referee gave eight minutes of injury time but the "Dea" was beaten. Final score 2-0 to Lazio.


Atalanta had not played badly and given everything they had, but some key players such as Zapata and Ilicic had been kept quiet by Lazio’s defence and they also had the potential penalty and sending off to complain about.


Lazio had limited Atalanta's superior team game, Inzaghi had got the substitutions just right and then struck cynically towards the end with their more talented players. A 7th Coppa Italia for the Biancocelesti, now third for domestic trophies won.


Lulic, the 2013 hero, lifted the cup to the ecstatic Lazio following. The wintery night suddenly felt like a midsummer night's dream.


Who played for Atalanta


Gollini, Palomino, Djimsiti, Masiello, Hateboer (84' Gosens), De Roon (84' Pasalic), Freuler, Castagne, Ilicic, Gomez, Zapata (84' Barrow)

Substitutes: Berisha, Ibañez, Colpani, Delpreto, Pessina, Piccoli

Manager: Gasperini


Who played for Lazio


Substitutes: Proto, Guerrieri, Patric, Wallace, Romulo, Badelj, Cataldi, Durmisi, Neto

Manager: S. Inzaghi


Referee: Banti


Goals: 82' Milinkovic-Savic, 90' Correa



Lazio Coppa Italia 2018-2019

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Coppa Italia

5

3

2

-

8

Appearances and goals

Player

Appearances

Goals

Acerbi

5

-

Bastos

5

-

Caicedo

5

-

Luis Alberto

5

1

Immobile

5

3

Leiva

5

-

Milinkovic-Savic

5

2

Strakosha

5

-

Correa

4

2

Lulic

4

-

Marusic

4

-

Parolo

4

-

Luiz Felipe

3

-

Durmisi

2

-

Radu

2

-

Romulo

2

-

Badelj

1

-

Berisha

1

-

Lukaku

1

-

Neto

1

-

Patric

1

-

Wallace

1

-

Let's talk about Joaquin Correa


Joaquin Correa was born in Juan Bautista Alberdi, Argentina, on August 13, 1994. He is nicknamed 'El Tucu'(connected with his province of origin, Tucumán).


Correa spent his youth career at River Plate, Renato Cesarini and Estudiantes. It was for Estudiantes of Mar de Plata that he made his professional debut on May 19, 2012, against Banfield (replacing future Italian rival Duván Zapata). His first goal came on May 10 against San Lorenzo (of future Roman neighbour Pope Francis). He made 53 appearances for Los Pincharratas (The Rat stabbers) scoring 3 goals (one against Boca Juniors).


In December 2014 Correa signed for Sampdoria in Serie A, Italy for 8.8 million dollars. He made his debut for the Genoese on February 15, 2015. In a year and a half Correa played 31 league games and scored 3 goals.


In July 2016 Correa left Italy and joined Sevilla in Spain for 13 million Euros. In his two seasons in Andalusia he played 47 league games with 5 goals, 12 in Copa del Rey with 8 goals, 13 in Europa League with 8 goals plus a Supercopa de Espana.


In August 2018 Correa came back to Italy and signed for Lazio for 16 million Euros plus add ons. In his first season in Rome he played 34 league games and scored 5 goals. His first league goal came on September 26 against Udinese. He would also score a dramatic 94th minute equalizer against Milan.


His contribution in Serie A was good, but it was in Coppa Italia that he had his best moments. Firstly he scored the winner away to Milan in the semi-final and then he scored a brilliant solo goal against Atalanta in the final, to seal Lazio's triumph in some tense final minutes of the game.


In his first season with the Biacocelesti he would lift a trophy and score 9 goals (including 2 in Europa League) in 44 appearances.


His second year in Rome was also a trophy winning one. On December 22, in Riyadh, Lazio defeated Juventus 3-1 to win the Supercoppa Italiana. Correa played 30 Serie A games and scored 9 goals plus 1 game in Coppa Italia, 3 in Europa League (1 goal) and the Supercoppa Final in Saudi Arabia. The year would see the “campionato” interrupted for many months due to the Covid-19 crisis and Lazio then qualify for Champions League.


Correa's third year at Lazio would be his last. No cups were won, but they did take part in the Champions League group phase after 13 years of absence. He played 28 league games with 8 goals and made 2 appearances in Coppa Italia. It was in Champions League where Correa shone brightest. Lazio got through the group phase also thanks to a memorable 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund. They were then knocked out by a clearly superior Bayern Munich side but Correa scored both in Rome and in Munich, his final tally was 3 goals in 8 games.


With the departure of manager Simone Inzaghi and the arrival of Maurizio Sarri, Correa decided to follow Inzaghi to Inter. In August 2021 he was loaned to the Nerazzurri for 5 million Euros, with a successive sign on fee of 25 million Euros.


Correa scored a brace on his Inter debut in a 3-1 away victory at Verona. In his first year at Inter they did not win the scudetto as most had predicted but did win the Supercoppa Italiana (against Juventus) and the Coppa Italia (again Juventus after extra time). He played 26 league games with 6 goals, 4 games in Coppa Italia and 5 in Champions League.


This year he is still at Inter but with the arrival of Romeu Lukaku and with the likes of Lautaro Martinez and Edin Dzeko already in the squad Correa faced stiff competition for playing time. Luckily for El Tucu Inter had plenty of games to play, being in 3 competitions.


At International level Correa made his senior debut on 9 June 2017 in a '”friendly” against Brazil. His first goal for Argentina came against Singapore on 13 June of the same year. In 2021 he was part of the La Albiceleste (The White and Sky Blue) squad that won the Copa Amerca making 3 appearances. So far he has 17 caps and 3 goals for Argentina.


Correa is usually played as a supporting striker, for Immobile at Lazio. He is however a player of movement and possesses good athleticism so can often be seen in other areas of the forward line. He has excellent ball control which combined with his dribbling ability and pace make him a threatening prospect for defenders. He is also agile and has some of that gliding quality Kakà once had. He is not however a clinical finisher often scoring spectacular goals but missing the sitters.


At Lazio Correa was a mixed success. He scored some great and decisive goals and helped Lazio lift two trophies and no-one disputed his talent. He nevertheless seemed to lack the killer instinct and would often drift in and out of matches. There was the sense he had to toughen up and be more consistent to become a top player. He showed Lazio fans flashes of his undisputed huge talent but left with impression he could have done more.


What he did do of course includes a Cup Final goal which will never be forgotten.


Lazio career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

Europa League

Super Coppa

2018-19

44 (9)

34 (5)

4 (2)

-

6 (2)

-

2019-20

35 (10)

30 (9)

1

-

3 (1)

1

2020-21

38 (11)

28 (8)

2

8 (3)

-

-

Total

117 (30)

92 (22)

7 (2)

8 (3)

9 (3)

1

Sources


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