Tonight’s game between AC Milan and Atalanta will see Stefano Pioli and Gian Piero Gasperini renew their rivalry once again.
La Gazzetta dello Sport recall how the duel between Pioli and Gasperini began thirty-five years ago as the two coaches faced each other for the first time on 30 October 1988 on the field as players, with the former at Verona and the latter at Pescara. Gasperini was an experienced midfielder then, with Pioli a young defender.
The result then was a 0-0 draw with the most notable incident coming after three minutes when the referee Pezzella stopped the game because Pescara had two players on the field with the same shirt number in Marchegiani and Camplone. The return fixture also ended 0-0.
They were the only two meetings as players, while the first as coaches came on 25 September 2004 when Modena won 1-0 at Crotone as an own-goal by Tamburini gave Gasperini the win. To see them square off in Serie A it would take another few years, until 12 September 2010 to be precise when Pioli’s Chievo won 3-1 at Gasp’s Genoa.
Over the years there have been great matches, outbursts, compliments, and deluges of goals such as the 7-1 win Pioli had with Inter back in 2017 and the now infamous 5-0 for Atalanta against Milan December 2019. Today, the two are still there fighting at the top of the league.
Gasperini is the coach Pioli has faced the most times in his career: 23 games, 10 wins, 6 draws and 7 defeats. Tonight, a new page will enrich the diary.