Atalanta will play in the Coppa Italia final for the second time in three years after beating Napoli 3-1 in Bergamo in their semi-final second leg.
Atalanta raced into an early lead and the scoring was opened emphatically by former Napoli forward Zapata. The Colombian received the ball in space outside the area and was afforded the freedom of Bergamo as he turned to face goal. With no defender in sight, he unleashed a fierce strike past David Ospina.
If their first was a moment of individual brilliance, it was collective excellence that allowed their lead to be doubled with just over a quarter of an hour on the clock. Robin Gosens found Zapata, who laid off perfectly for Pessina to finish off the inside of Ospina’s post.
Atalanta continued to press forward after that. Luis Muriel came close, and Remo Freuler almost squirmed into space in the area but Pessina was crowded out just as he looked to complete a one-two with the Swiss.
Victor Osimhen started to see more of the ball in the second half and Napoli halved the deficit within ten minutes of the restart. Hirving Lozano had a shot on a near-open goal denied by Pierluigi Gollini, but the Mexican was able to turn in on the rebound.
Josip Ilicic’s arrival allowed Atalanta to settle somewhat after a cagey spell, but the Slovenian saw a chance go begging before Pessina forced a good save from Ospina.
Gollini had to be alert to deny Osimhen with a close-range effort as the game reached its final 15 minutes.
Pessina gave Atalanta breathing room with a third, which was almost a copy of his first goal. This time it was Ilicic who fed Zapata, and the No.91 again used his body to keep Napoli’s defenders away and laid off first time for Pessina, who carried it forward and finished past Ospina.
Atalanta will meet Juventus in the final on Wednesday, May 19.