Two days 'till gladiators go head to head.



  • My favorite moments this season have been when the stadium announcer at the Atleti Azzurri calls out...

    Duvan ?

    and the crowd roar in response...

    ZAPATA

    It's been a trademark in an excellent turnaround this season.
    Now that clown Andreas Cornelius is gone.
    Now where do I remember him from ?!?!

    The hardest defenders in the world (with the exception of the mad Uraguayan) usually play in Italy. Koulibaly has been the best in recent seasons.

    I was really looking forward to seeing Duvan go toe to toe with Kouli and it didn't disappoint. An epic game, and an epic individual battle - which Zapata won hands down.
    Biggest game of the season, biggest individual battle and he rose to it. After 25-30 mins I'm looking at his PB and wondering how on earth he's at -23 points. It wasn't for a lack of effort. He's not used to being beaten for pace and strength, but Kouli is the best, alongside VVD. He put up one hell of a fight though, to little avail as Napoli took an early lead (May as well try and "catch the pigeon" when Dries Mertens decides he's in the mood to put on a show, but he tires after an hour).

    So there we are, away to Napoli, goal down, Mertens on fire and Kouli shutting up shop.
    A lot of strikers heads would drop in this situation, but Duvan has heart, that's what showed. What can you expect from your man up top when Kouli is tracking his every step ?

    Atalanta were superb to a man (including young Pasalic who was out of his depth). Castagne and Hateboer went right at 'em. Both were playing out of their skins, it's a weapon most can't cope with - it's the formation I prefer. But Zapata was the key. He put down the beast at the gate and smashed the door.
    He did so first time with muscle, holding the ball on the edge of the six yard box with his back to goal. Holding off the beast, yet showing expert ball control. Laid it on a plate and props to young Pasalic (who may have a future at Chelsea) for not giving the keeper any chance with a good finish.
    Then he did it with pace (and intelligence), recognizing an opportunity as Hateboer charged at the back line, anticipating first and getting a yard on Kouli. Enough to get the winner after taking a beating for the best part of an hour.
    A combination that max'd my G&A profit and was my moment of the season so far (a little bias excitement and that awesome feeling of vindication when your boys come good).
    Despite no clean sheet I'm sticking with this kid Gollina in goal too.
    This team really deserves a crack at the CL now, I've really enjoyed watching them (Getafe it aint). This comeback victory away to Napoli shows what they have to offer.

    Looking forward to Monday and Fiorentina.
    Another gladiator, youngster Nikola Milenkovic, one of the best out there ?
    Personally I think the best are playing in Germany, three of them at least anyway.
    Should be another battle though, Atalanta have momentum and it'll be interesting to see how Fiorentina cope with the attacking wave that supplies Duvan.

    I'm known for a tangent, but it shouldn't be forgotten that I haven't even mentioned a certain Papu Gomez either.
    How do he play for Atalanta again ?
    Looks like Maradona to me every game and I've seen a fair few now. The best player not playing in CL ?
    For me he's second only to Messi this season.

    Ilicic, Freuler, De Roon - All of the defenders score goals !
    What happens if Barrow turns out to be good ?

    For now I'll settle with what's been a regular ker-ching for me this season.

    Duvan ?

    ZAPATA



  • That's as good a pump as I've seen! Hes class and underpriced imo.



  • Didn't read it.... Too long. 😐



  • @Ericali said in Two days 'till gladiators go head to head.:

    Didn't read it.... Too long. 😐

    He does like a long one doesn't he? 👀

    All due respect @C-Arroyo 😁



  • @ScouseSte said in Two days 'till gladiators go head to head.:

    @Ericali said in Two days 'till gladiators go head to head.:

    Didn't read it.... Too long. 😐

    He does like a long one doesn't he? 👀

    All due respect @C-Arroyo 😁

    I even tried reading it while having a shit this morning - still didn't get through it all before dropping the log.

    A brief summary - I think it's about Zapata. 🤔



  • @C-Arroyo

    Excellent well written piece mate.

    Far more interesting that half of the drivel I read on here nowadays. 🤔



  • Good read except... Atalanta is all about Gomez!! Zapata is just his big ugly sidekick 😂



  • @Thatguy
    And the defenders ! All scoring goals and assisting.



  • True. Probably my favourite team to watch this season


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