Sunday September 24 2017
Gasp: 'Fiorentina can't blame ref'

Gian Piero Gasperini insists “it takes some serious courage to blame the referee” after Atalanta’s draw with Fiorentina. “We deserved more.”

The Viola had taken the lead through Federico Chiesa’s stunner, but Papu Gomez saw a penalty parried and the hosts had two strong penalty appeals rejected.

In the final minute, Remo Freuler drilled in for the equaliser from the edge of the box.

“It was a thoroughly deserved draw. Losing this game would’ve been really hard to explain. Fiorentina started very strong, but we tested Sportiello a lot in the first half and dominated the second,” the Coach told Mediaset Premium.

“We equalised 15 seconds from the end, so we’re not that happy with the result, but are with the performance.

“I will say straight away that it takes some serious courage to blame the referee after this match. We had a penalty and missed it. I’m sorry, but Fiorentina just weren’t in the game.

“There’s VAR too, so if there’s a team that deserved more from this match, it was us.

“Chiesa scored a great goal, they were very sharp early on and we took a little while to get the measure of Fiorentina, but once we did that by half-time, we had it under control.

“We had more on the night and we should’ve scored more goals.”

The main reason Fiorentina held out as long as they did was the performance of goalkeeper Marco Sportiello, who started his career with Atalanta.

“Sportiello did very well with Atalanta, but last year he wanted to leave at all costs to go to Napoli, so it just didn’t quite work out. Papu had practiced a load of penalties earlier and they all went the other way, because Sportiello knows him so well.

“Rafael Toloi probably has a thigh strain, so he won’t be there against Lyon on Thursday in the Europa League. This is a side that started out very unlucky, had to introduce some new players and we are finding our feet now.

“It’s already a better start than last season, perhaps because the squad has more confidence in what we’re doing. Perhaps we’ll lose points in Serie A due to our Europa League commitments, but that’s part of the deal of playing in Europe.”

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