Both managers made some changes for this one. Atalanta’s Gian Piero Gasperini opted for winger Jeremie Boga as the striker. Fiorentina’s Vincenzo Italiano dropped Nikola Milenković and Giacomo Bonaventura, giving Igor, Youssef Maleh, and Krzysztof Piątek the chance to impress.
The game was a bit cagey to start but Fiorentina opened the scoring from the spot after Marten de Roon stomped Nicolás González; it took a VAR check, but the winger’s foot was in the box when the Dutchman got him. Krzysztof Piątek stepped up and slotted home the penalty, sending Juan Musso the wrong way and continuing his fantastic record of scoring in the Coppa Italia.
The Viola came close almost immediately after and had the play by the scruff of the neck for a bit, but Atalanta eventually responded with an absolute wondergoal from Davide Zappacosta, of all people. Jeremie Boga set him up and the fullback’s curler pinged in off the woodwork. The strike was gorgeous, but Fiorentina lost the ball very cheaply to give Atalanta the chance, although referee Michael Fabbri probably could’ve whistled a foul as well.
What a shot from Davide Zappacosta— Jerry Mancini (@jmancini8) February 10, 2022
La Dea were completely in control for the next stretch as Fiorentina suddenly left massive gaps at the back and conceded possession way too cheaply. It culminated with Jeremie Boga doinking an effort off the upright, setting off a mad scramble in the Viola box, but the good guys eventually escaped and even offered a bit of thrust to close the half. A goal apiece felt like a fair reflection.
The tenor of the match remained as, hm, muscular as it had early on, with the hosts unafraid to stick a foot in, and it felt like they overwhelmed Fiorentina with their physicality, driving them back and dominating things. Still, it took a bad giveaway (again) and some lackluster work from Lucas Martínez Quarta and Gaetano Castrovilli to let Boga waltz through and power a finish past Pietro Terracciano.
Fiorentina equalized from nothing. Teun Koopmeiners tried to control a high ball in the area and instead caught Youssef Maleh. It was accidental, certainly, but as obvious a penalty as you’ll ever see. Piątek again took responsibility, but Musso guessed right this time and saved, albeit only as far as il Pistolero, who turned home the rebound for his third Coppa goal of the year.
Because this is Fiorentina, we couldn’t have a normal finish, though, could we? First, LMQ got his second yellow for an open field foul on Muriel. It didn’t look like much, but the Colombian was likely through on goal, so it was probably the right call. Fiorentina dropped into a 4-4-1ish shape to hold out and mostly held it tight, although Terracciano did have to make a good stop on Zappacosta. The drama came at the other end, where, with the last kick of the game, substitute Milenković latched onto a loose ball from a free kick and powered home an outrageous volley that left Musso rooted.
GOL DE FIORENTINA— GOLES X EL MUNDO (@GOLES_DEL_MUNDO) February 10, 2022
⚽️ Nikola Milenkovic
Atalanta 2⃣ - 3⃣ Fiorentina
It was a stunning conclusion that required a lengthy VAR check to confirm, but in the end, Fiorentina came out as winners despite the bitter recriminations from Atalanta, who wanted a bit more time to go for the equalizer again.
Goals: Zappacosta 30’ (ass. Freuler), Boga 56’; Piątek PK 9’ PK 71’, Milenković 90’+4 (ass. Bonaventura)
Cards: de Roon 7’, Pašalić 32’; Igor 38’, Martínez Quarta 45’+1 79’ (sent off)
Fiorentina knock Atalanta out of the Coppa for the 2nd time in 4 years and set up a date with the winner of Juventus-Sassuolo on 3 March; let’s all hope the Neroverdi pull through, because the discourse of a game against the Notts County cosplayers would make everyone’s heads explode. Avoiding extra time also helps the Viola’s Serie A fortunes, as they’ll be that much fresher for a grudge match at Spezia on Monday.
For now, let’s celebrate Piątek scoring his 3 goals in just 2 Coppa matches (taking his career mark in the competition to 13 strikes in 9 appearances), and let’s celebrate Fiorentina for somehow managing to gut out an unbelievably unlikely, flawed, and exhilarating victory in Bergamo for the second time this year. It’s the exact response you wanted after that Lazio game. What a team. What a club.