Atalanta reach the Italian Cup Final! - fut365
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Atalanta reach the Italian Cup Final!

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Atalanta’s good season may have a great outcome! The Serie A side from Bergamo defeated Fiorentina 2-1 in the Italian Cup Semifinals and will face Lazio in the super decision. Despite reaching the Coppa Italia Final, Atalanta are also in a head-to-head dispute for a place in the next UEFA Champions League. The 2-1 win at home made it 5-4 on the Aggregate, as the 1st leg was 3-3.

The match started at a frenetic pace. Both sides were going at it against each other, and surprisingly, Fiorentina opened the scoring at 3. Luis Muriel was picked out by Federico Chiesa, got into the box, and beat goalkeeper Golini to make it 0-1 to La Viola. Furthermore, at 14, Atalanta responded through Josip Ilicic. Alejandro Gomez was brought down inside the area. After a VAR review, the referee awarded the hosts a Penalty. Ilicic stepped up and converted from the spot. All square.

After the interval, Atalanta kept pushing to complete their comeback. They got the winner at 69, as Gomez fired home past goalkeeper Lafont, who should have done better. 2-1 to the home side.

At this point, Fiorentina had to score two more, but they didn’t look so inspired to do so. Finally, the referee whistled for the last time, and Atalanta keep dreaming to win another cup.

The final against Lazio will take place on May 15 at the Olympic Stadium in Rome. It’s going to be Atalanta’s fourth time in their history in the Italian Cup and the first in 23 years. Only once did the Bergamo team take the trophy home in 1963. Lazio, Milan’s semi-finalist, is the fourth-highest winner of the competition, with six wins. Their last win was back in 2013. It’s Lazio – Atalanta in the Italian Cup Final! Who do you think that will win it? Leave a comment below!

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Liverpool initiate pre-season with a 6-0 win over Tranmere Rovers

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The European Champions are back in action! On this Thursday, Liverpool with mostly their reserves, made their first preseason friendly, ending up thrashing Tranmere Rovers 6-0.

The highlight of the match was young striker Rhian Brewster who showed up his “classic number nine” skills and scored twice in the small Prenton Park stadium in Merseyside. Nathaniel Clyne opened the scoring in the six minutes and Brewster scored at 38 and 45. With 11 changes in the second half, Liverpool scored three more through Curtis Jones, Divock Origi, and Bobby Duncan.

As expected, coach Jurgen Klopp used all 23 players at his disposal, among recently promoted youngsters and some reserves, as goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, midfielder Adam Lallana, striker Divock Origi and midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who returned to the fields at the end of last season after a year recovering from a serious knee injury.

Among the holders of the last season, the Brazilian midfielder Fabinho and defender Joel Matip, who were called only in the second half, and midfielder James Milner, who played in the opening stages, were already in the first friendly.

At the end of the match, a good part of the supporters invaded the pitch to take pictures with the players. The most requested one was the UEFA Champions League hero, Divock Origi, who recently agreed his contract extension with the Reds. I’m excited to see Rhian Brewster in action for the main team. I also think that Jurgen Klopp needs to give some chances to Ryan Kent, and Harry Wilson to be at least backup pieces to this squad. It’s hard to say only based on a 6-0 win over Tranmere Rovers, but it’s undeniable that the Reds keep on fire. Will Liverpool and Klopp repeat last season, and maybe finally conquer the so dreamed Premier League this season? Leave a comment below with your thoughts!

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The Retirement of a Giant!

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Everything comes to an end… And on this Friday morning, notorious English striker Peter Crouch announced his retirement from football. At the age of 38, the 2.01m giant used his official Twitter account to inform fans of his decision.

The former Liverpool player said he got it all thanks to football and still made a point of thanking everyone who helped him out during his career in the sport.

“After much consideration this summer, I decided to retire from football. Our wonderful game gave me everything. I am very grateful to everyone who helped me to get there and to keep me for so long.” He wrote.

Crouch was revealed by Tottenham back in 1998 and had also played for clubs like QPR, Aston Villa, Norwich, Stoke City, and Burnley. However, a two-meter giant needed a club with his proportions… And he found everything he was looking for at Liverpool, as he played important roles, scored decisive goals, and even disputed a UEFA Champions League. Also, it was playing for the Reds that Crouch was called to defend England National Team back in the World Cups of 2006, and 2010.

“If you told me, when I was 17, that I would play in World Cups, reach a Champions League final, win the FA Cup and get 100 goals in the English Championship, I would not believe. It was absolutely a dream come true.” Added the player.

In his last season, Peter Crouch began playing in the second division, with the shirt of Stoke City. He then went to Burnley, where he played six games in the English Premier League and did not score goals. He’s a very nice guy, and almost everyone likes him. He’s always making fun of himself due to his big size, and even compare him to a giraffe. I’m pretty sure Liverpool fans will always remember him.

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Griezmann signs for Barcelona!

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Finally, the Griezmann conundrum is solved! After over a year of rumors and speculations, Barcelona announced today the signing of French striker Antoine Griezmann. The confirmation of the transfer occurred with the payment of the fine of 120 million euros to Atletico Madrid, held at the headquarters of the Spanish League.

In a statement, the Catalan team reported that Griezmann signed for five years, until June 30, 2024. Also, the Catalans have set a buyout clause in Griezmann’s contract of about 800 million euros.

Griezmann had the opportunity of joining the Catalans a year ago, but he opted for staying at Atleti. However, something made him change his mind up, as he joins Ernesto Valverde’s side. Griezmann will “steal” Philippe Coutinho’s number 7, as the Brazilian midfielder is currently numberless, and dignity-less as well at the Catalan club.

If Barcelona and Griezmann are happy, apparently the other side, Atletico, is not. The club from Madrid is arguing that Barça should pay 200 million euros instead of 120, as the agreement for the French player was sealed back in March when the fee to sign Griezmann was higher. Atletico is also complaining about the “Barça-way” of approaching their targets, as they seem to forget about etic values and fair play to the other clubs.

But let’s be honest… 120 million euros for Antoine Griezmann is such a joke. He’s a very good player, maybe he’s been world-class at his prime, but he is a merely good player nowadays. Not to mention average season last season with Atleti.

In my opinion, the Griezman arrival in Barcelona is one more problem for Ernesto Valverde to solve. He’s got into such a situation where he needs to figure out how to play Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho, Arthur, and maybe Neymar together at the same time. What a squad Barça is building up by the way. They’ve got everything to become the new “Galacticos” maybe? Yeah, who knows… Only time will say!

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