Can Lookman inspire Atalanta into Copa Italia semis?
Atalanta will be relying on in-form forward, Ademola Lookman, to continue his impressive run of form when La Dea face Inter Milan at the San Siro for a place in the Coppa Italia semi-finals on Tuesday (today), PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
Lookman has scored seven goals in his last four matches in all competitions for Atalanta, who are unbeaten in six competitive games and he will be aiming to grab his second goal against the Nerrazurri who have only suffered one defeat in their last nine matches in all competitions.
Inter have already beaten Atalanta in the current campaign, recording a 3-2 league away league victory when the two sides met in November, and after progressing to the last four of the Coppa Italia in each of the last three seasons, they will be confident of securing their place in the semi-finals.
Speaking ahead of the tie and Lookman’s performance, Atalanta coach, Gian Piero Gasperini said, “Lookman had an extraordinary performance for Atalanta this season and we hope he continues tomorrow against Inter.
“He has played right away since he arrived and he was always involved in matches.
“He immediately showed that he has the experience, and he had significant growth in clubs where they know football.
“He was at Leipzig, then he played in England. There he was employed a bit distant from the goal, but I immediately realized that he had the right characteristics for what we’d been looking for for some time.”
Atalanta Sporting director Lee Congerton also praised the Nigerian striker, noting that Lookman fitted the kind of player the club wanted.
“Very good, he had already seen the team play from February-March: there were important negotiations with other players, but he was always convinced of the characteristics of Lookman and how I played and how I wanted to use him. He immediately entered well.”
His goal contribution is propelling Atalanta’s quest for a European ticket for next season as the club sit fourth on the Serie A table with 38 points from 20 matches
Inter have already added one trophy to their collection this season, winning the Italian Super Cup earlier this month with a comfortable 3-0 victory over their rivals AC Milan in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
They earned their place in the Super Cup by winning last year’s Coppa Italia, and they are looking to win the cup competition in back-to-back seasons, something that they achieved in the 2009-10 and 2010-11 campaigns.
After suffering a surprise defeat to Empoli, Simone Inzaghi’s side returned to winning ways last weekend, securing a narrow 2-1 away victory over Cremonese thanks to a Lautaro Martinez brace.