9th November 1997 – After a disappointing finish to a promising season in 1996, Inter and Roy Hodgson parted ways despite a third-place finish which was the club’s highest placement since the days of Giovanni Trapattoni and Lothar Matthaus.

For the 1997-98 season, the club appointed Luigi Simoni as manager and invested heavily in the transfer market by signing Ronaldo, Diego Simeone, Francesco Moriero, and Alvaro Recoba with hopes of a title contention against last season’s champions and hated rivals, Juventus.

The Nerazzurri got off to a flying start to their season, going on a twelve game unbeaten run where they won nine games including a crucial win against AS Roma and title contenders and previous season’s runner-up, Parma.

Ronaldo introduced himself to Italy in fantastic form, scoring six goals in seven matches leading up the to round eight match against Atalanta in Bergamo.

With the offensive firepower including Ronaldo, Zamorano, Djorkaeff, and Recoba, the Nerazzurri were averaging three goals each game, however, struggled in keeping clean sheets and only managed one thus far.

Atalanta was coming off a tenth place finish in the previous season, riding a breakthrough season of Capocannoniere Pippo Inzaghi.

After a brilliant season, he was sold to Juventus and the club struggled to maintain the same form in the 1997-98 season and ultimately ended up getting relegated to Serie B that season.

Starting the match for Luigi Simoni and Inter were Gianluca Pagliuca, Luigi Sartor, Giuseppe Bergomi, Fabio Galante, Taribo West, Francesco Moriero, Diego Simeone, Ze Elias, Benoit Cauet, Youri Djorkaeff and Ronaldo.

For Atalanta starting line-up were Alberto Fontana, Massimo Carrera, Fabio Rustico, Andrea Sottil, Zoran Mirkovic, Paolo Foglio, Fabio Gallo, Angelo Carbone, Marco Sgro and Nicola Caccia.

Right from kick-off, Atalanta’s defense was aggressive against Ronaldo, not giving him an inch of space and defenders smothering him to prevent the creation of scoring opportunities.

The physical and aggressive style of play was proving successful against Inter since Ronaldo struggled to keep his goal-scoring streak alive.

This tactic managed to slow down the rest of the Nerazzurri free-flowing attack also, forcing the club to use alternate ways to break the deadlock.

Despite their best efforts earlier on, Youri Djorkaeff headed in Inter’s first goal around twenty-eight minutes mark from Francesco Moriero corner kick.

Despite being a goal down, the resurgent Atalanta side was visibly causing problems for Pagliuca and Inter’s defense that had struggled to keep a clean sheet thus far in the season.

Quick passing sequences around the penalty box, was enough to free up their attackers near Nerazzurri goal.

However, with a little bit of luck on their side and a brilliant performance by Pagliuca, Inter managed to keep a clean sheet in the first half of the match, although Atalanta came close on a number of occasions with three shots rebounding off the crossbar.

In the second half, Pagliuca’s brilliance in goal continued as Atalanta kept more possession and continued to attack with heavy dose crosses for their strikers forcing one acrobatic save after another.

Seeing less possession in the second-half, Luigi Simoni’s side created counter-attack opportunities for Ronaldo who continued to be double teamed inside the penalty box.

Making things difficult for the visitors, Youri Djorkaeff was sent off with a straight red card after a dangerous tackle.

Being a man down, the Nerazzurri defense lost their defensive discipline and shape as the game edged towards the end.

Atalanta managed to draw level with only nine minutes remaining in the match when Nicola Caccia curled a beautiful shot past Pagliuca from the edge of the box.

With the game tied and momentum and man-advantage on their side, Atalanta tried to press for the go-ahead goal in the dying seconds of the match. However, this strategy backfired.

In eighty-eighth minute, as Inter mounted one final push forward, Atalanta defense’s aggressiveness worked against them as they swarmed Nerazzurri attackers, at times double and triple-teaming them.

Seeing the defenders come off their line, a quick passing sequence between Inter midfielders released Taribo West in behind Atalanta center-backs, giving him a one on one chance against the goal-keeper, resulting in the go-ahead goal for Inter and West’s first goal as an Inter player.

Nerazzurri walked away with all three points despite a brilliant display of attacking football by a resurgent Atalanta side, looking to reestablish themselves without their star player.