Miranchuk has made it to the final of the Europa League! This season for Atalanta is truly a remarkable story!

By | May 11, 2024

Atalanta thrashed Marseille. But Alexey did not get into the game. For the first time in its history, Atalanta with Alexey Miranchuk has reached the final of a European cup! The Bergamasques defeated Marseille in the Europa League semifinals. After a 1:1 away draw, Gian Piero Gasperini’s team won convincingly at home. Miranchuk again remained on the bench during the Europa League playoffs, with De Ketelaere, Lookman, and Scamacca forming the attacking trio, Scamacca playing as the center forward. In this match, the two 3-4-3 formations effectively overlapped each other. At the center of Marseille’s defense, former Spartak player Jigo wore the captain’s armband, returning after missing the first match due to suspension.

Right after a mistake by Jigo, the Provencals could have conceded a quick goal in the sixth minute. Samuel was pulled out by Atalanta’s forward, exposing his zone, and the Bergamasques’ attack passed through it. Fortunately for Jigo and his teammates, De Ketelaere hit the post. Gian Piero Gasperini’s team, as usual, applied intense pressing and counter-pressing, then conducted fast attacks. In the first half, Marseille’s defense creaked but held on for half an hour. Once again, the crossbar saved the team when De Ketelaere headed the ball after a corner.

But eventually, Atalanta scored the looming goal. Lookman sprinted towards Marseille’s goal, while Mbemba backed off instead of blocking the shot. Jigo went to cover, but it was unlucky for the former Spartak player. Lookman fired from outside the box, and the ball, ricocheting off the captain’s knee, flew into the net. It seemed that Miranchuk should have been in the Nigerian’s place. Marseille primarily relied on through passes behind Atalanta’s defenders to use Aubameyang’s speed. A few such passes were indeed dangerous, yet they did not lead to scoring opportunities. The Bergamasques were a bit faster, sharper. Thus, the Provencals managed only two long and inaccurate shots before the break.

Right after the break, Marseille created their best chance following another long ball over the top. A defender and goalkeeper Musso miscommunicated, and Ndiaye lobbed the ball towards the empty net, just missing. Atalanta allowed their opponents to lift their heads but did not let them bite. Immediately, the hosts scored a second goal. Rudiger and Lookman opened up Marseille’s defense with a simple one-two. The left fullback cut diagonally into the box and resolved the episode with two touches.

At the 56th minute, Gasperini brought on Miranchuk, who took a forward position on the right flank. Lookman was on the left, and below them was Koopmeiners. Alexey had a great moment in the middle of the second half during Atalanta’s counterattack. The Russian found himself open in front of the empty goal at about seven to eight meters, and he would have almost certainly scored if the ball had reached him. But Koopmeiners made a poor pass – a defender intercepted. Marseille swapped a defender for an attacking player, but Gasse’s team struggled in attack. The Ligue 1 team could not match the intensity of the Serie A representative. The guests only surprised the hosts with a free-kick that suddenly turned into a shot – the ball fell onto the crossbar. Ultimately, Atalanta easily secured a clean victory, far outshooting Marseille – 16:6 (on target – 8:1, from the box – 10:0). In added time, Toure sprinted to the goal and secured a substantial victory for the Bergamasques.

Miranchuk, it must be admitted, did not get into this game at all. He didn’t make any notable impact. The Russian’s statistics: 16 touches, 9 out of 12 accurate passes, 0 shots, dribbles, and won duels. In addition, Alexey had six turnovers. Sitting on the bench, Miranchuk seemed to have lost form.

In the Europa League final, Atalanta will play against Bayer on May 22 in Dublin…

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