Atalanta under Gasperini 2018/2019

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Really impressive this side of Gasperieni. They attracted my attention last season playing the same 3-4-2-1 attacking with short passes, good finishing, a lot of mobility, good counterpressing and vertical transition on a full speed forward.

“La Dea” started last night in a fantastic way the season with a 4-0 victory against a relegation candidate Frosinone in front of a great support of fans.

Comparing to last season they didn’t change to much the shape, the movements, Gomes remaining main attracting point of the team. The captain, despite of his age, is the perfect image how a coach design the system of play looking at his players quality. The system of Gasperini looks like Gomes: dymanic, fast, mobile, small in distances, attacking mentallity, joy to watch.

Defensive 5-2-2-1/5-4-1

We must take in consideration the value of the opponent, first. Frosinone is a weak team, with no solid principles of play, with no quality. So, the basic instinct is to go high, to block every 6 meters, to force them to play with long balls or to lose the ball near to their goal. Last season Gasperini approached almost every opponent with high pressing and block. Against big teams his variation was to put a “false9” instead of a dynamic forward or to change the shape of the team in 3-5-2 with two dynamic forwards. The team has a solid identity and also can adapt to different systems of play.

The pressing of Atalanta is man-to-man oriented. Against a 5-3-2 as you cand see down, Barrow goes to the central-central defender, the two “trequartista” take the rest two central defenders, Hateboer takes the left fullback, two CM on two CM and Gosens modify his position to cut inside central, Toloi goes out to mark one forward and the others two CB of Gasperini take care of one single striker of oponent. As you can see one Frosinone player is free: the right full-back. This is the principle of superiority/inferiority. The ball spend minimum 5 seconds to arrive at him, so they must do the translation in 5 seconds which is enought time, important is the zone where the ball is.

Atalanta 1In zone 1 they become a logical 5-4-1, all the players dropping on their zone and keeping the team compact wide and narrow.

In zone 2-3 as you see here they become more a 5-2-2-1, forming 4 lines of defence.

This is numerology, but the numerology gives you the information how they are doing the pressing, with how much players etc.

Offensive 3-4-2-1

“Organisatione liquida” for Gaspierini with a lot of mobility of Toloi, Hateboer, Goosens, De Roon, Gomez, Pasalic, Barrow. There are 7 players how on possesion keep a fluid organization but playing after three priniciples.

First principle in the 1st phase of the game is the “salida De Roon” who drops his position and stay wide as possible to push up Hateboer. Same on the left with Freuler-Gosens.

Second principle is the superiority that they creates in tree ways: superiority created by Toloi and fullbacks runs, romb wide and fast play, Barrow movement. Toloi, see 1st goal, he gave the assist, impressive. Hateboer scored second goal after a left cross from Gomez. The romb of left side is for me the key of Atalanta offensive play, it has everything: speed, one touch, driblling, running.

Third principle is the moving of “trequartista”. They are different type of players. Gomez is dynamic-technical player, Pasalic 1,89 attacking midfileder. Preety shocking hight, normally he should play in front on Barrow as target man, but is a reason behind this decision of the coach. Pasalic is the player who feel the free space and always appear as a second striker role. Gomez is the real playmaker of the team, having fantastic ability 1vs1.

Atalanta 3

The 4 vs 4 left/right side

As you can see on the photo they create a lot there. They have various option from this situation: switch play using Freuler, vertical with Barrow and one-two for Gosens. What they cand do  better is playing directly deep on Barrow speed or diagonal ball from Freuler to Hateboer.

wide attacking
Zone Attacking Atalanta
medium position
Medium Positioning Atalanta

Transitions – Counterpress and Vertical Play

They are really doing good on transitions showing they are working at trainings on this moments. On negative they make counterpress and delay the attack of opponent and his vertical option. On positive they play on Barrow or they switch play to Hateboer/Gosens, making a little bit of “giro palla”.


This is a team to watch for his champagne football, good organisation and quality players. If they mantain the enthusiasm maybe the can go to shock Europa League with a long run.

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