Wednesday January 30 2019
Gasperini: 'Extraordinary Atalanta'

Gian Piero Gasperini admits “even the most optimistic fan could not have foreseen such a victory” after Atalanta crushed Juventus 3-0.

Duvan Zapata bagged a brace after the Timothy Castagne opener in Bergamo, becoming the first Italian side to beat the Bianconeri this season.

They knocked out the reigning Coppa Italia holders and will face Fiorentina in the semi-final.

“Something extraordinary happened this evening, seeing as even the most optimistic fan could not have foreseen such a victory,” Gasp told Rai Sport.

“We met Juve quite a few times and only ever got draws, so it was tough to even hope for a 3-0 result. It’s immensely satisfying, as doing this against Juventus gives it even more significance.

“I could not have asked for more and I don’t just mean the result, but also the passion, the style of football, the quality. People think Atalanta just run hard and that’s it, but there’s more to it.

“We have always thought that just sitting back and defending would be suicide, so we may as well take the game to them with an aggressive and intense approach. Just that is not enough, as you need quality too and to take some risks.

“You can’t beat Juventus without some talented players and Atalanta have those players. There is a lot of hard work that goes into this team, we have players who have fun together and know how to play football.”

Duvan Zapata has scored 17 competitive goals in his last 10 games for Atalanta.

“He is a fantastic centre-forward and doing extraordinary things. If he continues like this, he’ll be considered among the top strikers in Europe.”

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