The Serie A coaches offer more and more exciting tactical decisions to analyse and the game between Atalanta and Cagliari was another proof of that. Teams with an intriguing but different approach, who might be the main candidates for European football next season.

Atalanta, a team with clear attacking strategy and relying on their striking force, were expected to control the game with their possession-football. Cagliari, though, broke their plans with an outstanding game plan and execution of it.

They managed to limit Atalanta’s exposition in front of the goal and are the first team to keep a clean sheet against them in Serie A this term.  A solid defensive structure and a perfectly-executed marking strategy were the key to their 2-0 win.

In this tactical analysis, we will break down both team’s tactics and how Rolando Maran outwitted Gian Piero Gasperini’s famous set-up.


Serie A 2019/20: Atalanta vs Cagliari – tactical analysis tactics
Both team’s starting XIs.

There were no surprises when it comes to formations. Gasperini used his favoured 3-4-1-2. Pierluigi Gollini covered the goalkeeping spot, with a back-three of Rafael Tolói, José Luis Palomino and Berat Djimsiti as support. As a right wing-back he used Timothy Castagne, and on the left Robin Gosens. The central pair contained Remo Freuler and Mario Pašalić. The coach relied on Luis Muriel and Josip Iličić in attack, backed up by Alejandro Gómez.

It was possible for Maran to use 3-5-2, but he preferred to stick to the 4-3-2-1. Robin Olsen was the keeper and in front of him were positioned Fabrizio Cacciatore, Fabio Pisacane, Ragnar Klavan and Charalampos Lykogiannis who were the heroes in Cagliari’s performance. They got the needed support by the defensive midfielder Christian Oliva and the central duo of Lucas Castro and Marko Rog. Radja Nainggolan served as a creative force for his attacking teammates João Pedro and Giovanni Simeone.

To read the full tactical analysis of this match – click here

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