Sunday October 20 2019
Lazio-Atalanta row erupts

Lazio and Atalanta exchanged angry official statements as a row erupted over refereeing decisions and the “right to criticise” their 3-3 draw.

The Orobici had been leading 3-0 at the Stadio Olimpico, but were pegged back to 3-3 by a pair of Ciro Immobile penalties and a Joaquin Correa strike.

Atalanta Coach Gian Piero Gasperini complained in his post-match interviews that “neither penalty” should’ve been given, claiming Ciro Immobile had “dived.”

This prompted a rebuke from Lazio, who released an official statement against Gasperini’s “entirely unjustified and unacceptable comments.

“Gasperini’s affirmations have no justification in light of the clear and recognised foundation of the penalty decisions. This also represents an unacceptable offence towards the professionalism of a player like Ciro Immobile who has never resorted to simulation of any kind during his career.

“The bitterness at losing out on a victory is understandable, but that does not in any way justify the attempt to reject the result by creating fantastical and eccentric theories, putting into doubt the professionalism of an exemplary player such as Ciro Immobile.”

Atalanta then released their own missive in response to Lazio, standing up for Coach Gasperini.

“We are stunned by the comments expressed against our Coach and feel it is our duty to intervene by pointing out that criticism is legitimate.

“At the same time, it is only right that during Press conferences and post-match interviews, our employees are free to express their thoughts as they wish, seeing as they are asked for their opinions on technical incidents.

“There are no fantastical and eccentric theories, only the right to comment.”

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