NEWS
Sunday December 30 2018
Gasperini keeps Ilicic going

Gian Piero Gasperini revealed the secret to handling Josip Ilicic after Atalanta scored six away goals for the first time since 1949.

The Orobici thrashed Sassuolo 6-2 at the Mapei Stadium on Saturday.

The only previous occasion when La Dea had scored this many on their top flight travels was another 6-2 result at Bologna in September 1949.

This result took their seasonal tally to 39 goals in 19 rounds, allowing Atalanta to overtake leaders Juventus as the most prolific side in the league.

“I’ve been very satisfied for a few weeks with the way we’ve been playing and it’s remarkable to have such a prolific attack now, considering we didn’t score very much at the start,” Gasperini told Sky Sport Italia.

“Our inability to convert chances was also why we went out of the Europa League, but then after a while, Duvan Zapata found extraordinary consistency in front of goal.”

Ilicic came off the bench against Sassuolo and bagged a hat-trick in just 18 minutes, but the Slovenian is famously inconsistent.

“The players call him Grandma in the locker room, as he is always exhausted! The problem is making him train consistently, but if you manage to convince him, he is a great team member and good fun to be around, too.

“He is also very fond of Atalanta, despite the fact his attitude can at times seem indolent.”

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