Tanner Tessmann was called upon to man Venezia’s midfield in their Coppa Italia Round of 16 game against Atalanta, and put in a solid shift to help keep it close for the duration as they eventually crashed out of the competition in a two-goal loss.

Atalanta 2 – 0 Venezia FC

Tessmann was paired in the center of the park with little-used midfielder Luca Fiordilino, and played the full 90 minutes as they were able to keep the high-flying Atalanta attack from running away with the game after taking an early advantage.

Fellow American Gianluca Busio was left on the bench by head coach Paolo Zanetti alongside several other usual starters, and was not called into action. In contrast to their previous Cup game in December, American youngster Jack de Vries, who normally plays in the Venezia Primavera team, was not called into the senior squad.

Tessmann was an active participant in the middle for the visitors, with 44 total touches, a 76% completion rate on his 29 passes, and three aerials won over the course of 90 minutes.

Having scored a six-pack of goals in their last league outing, Atalanta were hungry for more, and already came close in 12th minute when Luis Muriel and Matteo Pessina forced Venezia keeper Luca Lezzerini into a pair of rapid-fire saves.

However, moments later, the hosts did put away the opener; Aleksey Miranchuk and Remo Freuler linked up just outside the area, with the latter flicking the ball forward to Muriel as he worked his way towards goal. The Colombian veteran controlled the ball, thanks to what looked like a blatant deflection off of his arm, and beat his marking defender to open up space for an easy tap-in.

The goal was reviewed via VAR to determine whether the contact with Muriel’s arm would be enough to call it back, however the opener stood, in a decision that infuriated the Venezia players and staff.

Teun Koopmeiners almost doubled the lead in the 43rd minute when his header just grazed the top of the crossbar, however the visitors held strong under substantial pressure to maintain the one-goal deficit at the halftime break.

They thought they had managed to put away an equalizer in the 48th minute after Domen Crnigoj struck a volley from distance following a corner, however it was called back for an offside infraction by substitute Thomas Henry in the buildup.

The visitors also had a golden chance to equalize in the 69th minute when Atalanta keeper Juan Musso couldn’t control a back pass from Marten de Roon, leaving the ball at Henry’s foot within a few yards of a nearly open goal, however the Argentinean keeper recovered well at the last second and thwarted the short-range shot.

In the end, Venezia were made to pay for their missed chances, with David Schnegg clumsily coughing up the ball in the 88th minute, triggering an Atalanta counter that ended with Joakim Maehle putting hit shot away after a quick combination with Mario Pasalic to secure the 2-0 win.

Venezia’s cup run comes to an end with the loss, however this will allow them to turn their attention towards a league campaign that has fallen on hard times as of late, with their last win coming in late-November. They have a golden opportunity to turn things around on Sunday afternoon when they host Empoli.

By David Smith

I'm YA's resident doctor, but not the kind of doctor you would want giving you an examination anywhere outside of a lecture hall. I've been YA's feet-on-the-ground in Germany since 2008, have an affinity for overly verbose descriptions of irrelevant minutiae, keep an eye on YAs in most of the destinations on mainland Europe, and watch a whole lot of Serie A.

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