Sunday, May 26, 2024

Europa League | De Roon and Koopmeiners qualify for the final with Atalanta

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After the 1-1 draw in the south of France, tonight was a real final between Atalanta and Bergamo. It was the surprise of this tournament versus the team with the top scorer of the tournament (Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang). Eliminating the Gabonese striker was of course high on the priority list of the Italian defense. De Roon and co (playing in a three-man defense) achieved this with verve.

Stay of execution

Coach Gian Piero Gasperini’s team pushed Marseille well in their own half in the first half. Teun Koopmeiners seemed to deserve a penalty after six minutes. Referee Manzano waved it away. The Dutchman continued to play the leading role in the first act. A long shot of about twenty meters was deflected and sailed just wide. In the subsequent corner it was a great miracle that goalkeeper Pau Lopez was not passed. Super striker Gianluca Scamacca, among others, miraculously did not see his effort disappear into the goal.

Atalanta’s attacking drive was rewarded in the 30th minute. Rewarded by a player who is normally never in the starting line-up: Ademola Lookman. The Nigerian started with a 4-4-2 change in formation, and it paid off. After a nice solo he shot the ball, albeit touched via Marseille legs, into the goal for 1-0. Before half time, De Ketelaere had a chance to make it 2-0 while dribbling. It turned out to be just a stay of execution.

Bonfire

In half two it was only a matter of waiting for the final final blow for the surprisingly weak Marseille. It was a blow to the neck. A phenomenal goal from Matteo Ruggeri sailed behind goalkeeper Lopez. After a one-two with goalscorer Lookman, the ball disappeared into the far intersection.

The fireworks were set off before the final whistle. The bonfire became even more joyful with an injury time goal from El Bilal Toure. The Malian hit characteristically hard for 3-0. Atalanta’s Dutch enclave will more than rightly face Leverkusen in the Europa League final on May 22 in Dublin.

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Fireworks after Atalanta’s 3-0

Photo: Getty Images

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