Carlo Ancelotti, the man with two wins at Anfield, says playing Atalanta in Bergamo will be more difficult


Carlo Ancelotti is not scared of Anfield. The man who managed Chelsea between 2009 and 2011 knows the Merseyside stadium well but he refused to kowtow to the stereotype loved by the English media of Anfield being a terrifying fortress.

Instead, he cited Monday’s trip to Bergamo where Napoli will play Atalanta as more difficult,

“We must go to Anfield with courage and play our game,” he said.

“Now let’s think about the Serie A game at Atalanta on Monday, which will be more difficult than Liverpool.”

Ancelotti has won the Champions League three times as a coach, twice with AC Milan and once with Real Madrid. But does his claim stand up to scrutiny?

Atalanta finally own their own stadium having bought the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia in 2017 for €8,608,600 10% more than the asking price of €7,826,000.

So far this season, they have won three and drawn one of their six home games, scoring 11 and conceding just three. Nonetheless, that record puts them 11th in a Serie A league table of home results only, whereas they are ninth in a table measured by away results, and ninth in Serie A overall.

Liverpool have a record of five wins and one draw in their home league ties but did lose 2-1 at home to Chelsea in the League Cup.

Nonetheless Ancelotti has a decent record at Anfield. His Blues side won 2-0 in May 2010 in his first game there with Florent Malouda and Michael Ballack the scorers. Six months later, the Reds reversed the score with Fernando Torres netting twice. In fact Torres was so impressive, Ancelotti bought him two months later.

In October 2014, he returned as Real Madrid manager and his side routed Liverpool 3-0 with two goals from  Karim Benzema after Cristiano Ronaldo had opened the floodgates.

Ancelotti therefore has no need to be scared of the venue. However, unfortunately for him, the Liverpool side he will face on Matchday six has improved a little from years gone by.

Meanwhile, what will Atalanta be thinking about all this as they prepare for Monday;s game

Napoli won the league meeting there 1-0  last season,  but that was not Ancelotti’s doing. The Neapolitans’  coach that day was none other than the man who has already won at Anfield this year, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri.

Perhaps he’s the only man who could answer the question as to which venue is more difficult, having won at both in 2018.


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