Sunday November 19 2017
Gasperini: 'Icardi the difference'

Atalanta Coach Gian Piero Gasperini said Mauro Icardi “made the difference” in the 2-0 Inter victory, but the performance “should give us confidence.”

The Orobici were beaten at San Siro thanks to a brace of Icardi headers.

“What made the difference? Icardi!” Gasp told Mediaset Premium.

“We knew Inter had many resources with which to score, including set plays, and that did make a big difference. We stayed in the game to the end and overall it was a good performance, but you must take your chances otherwise it becomes difficult.”

Atalanta surprised by benching Andrea Petagna to use Papu Gomez as a False 9 with Josip Ilicic and Jasmin Kurtic.

“With this system we had a good control of possession and passing. We were just missing something in terms of finishing, but we created dangerous opportunities and won back possession high up the field that could’ve been dealt with better.

“Papu and Ilicic played their part, but against this Inter defence, it’s never easy. Going behind at that moment, we knew it’d be tough, but I think we did pretty well, considering the quality of the opponent. A defeat to Inter can happen and this performance should give us confidence going forward.

“Considering our potential, we’ve got a good number of points and performances. This is a different tournament to last season, we have different objectives and commitments.

“It’s very tight in the table and in Serie A you always have to be wary, as sides can surge up the standings late on.”

Last season Atalanta finished fourth in Serie A, but now they have Europa League commitments too and need only one point to secure qualification for the next phase.

“We have changed 50 per cent of the squad too, so comparisons with last season are unfair. The opposition has changed too, as don’t forget last season Inter finished 10 points behind us.”

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