Inter coach Simone Inzaghi faces an opponent with whom he has shared a heated rivalry over the years in the form of Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini.
This is highlighted by today’s print edition of Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, who mention the controversial officiating in the 2019 Coppa Italia final where Inzaghi’s Lazio got the better of Atalanta as a particularly contentious episode in their rivalry.
Inzaghi and Gasperini meet for the first time this evening with Inzaghi on the Inter bench, though the current Inter boss faced Gasperini on several occasions while in charge of the Biancocelesti.
The pair have shown a frayed personal relationship while encountering each other over the past few years, with arguments on the touchline and refusals to shake one another’s hands giving the impression that there is some bad blood.
The 2019 final marked a particularly fractious incident, with the Atalanta boss fuming about the referee’s decision not to send off Lazio defender Bastos for a handball in a match where Inzaghi’s Lazio team prevailed 2-0 in the end to win the current Inter boss’s first trophy with the Biancocelesti.
Gasperini also has some personal history with Inter, having had an ill-fated spell in charge of the Nerazzurri which lasted only a few matches as the coach was misfit in a team going through a difficult transition.
The meeting on the pitch is likely to be intense, with two of Italy’s top sides coming into an early confrontation which could set the tone for their respective seasons, but the two managers are also not likely to interact with much friendliness at pitchside.