Saturday January 25 2020
Ilicic: 'First idea was go for goal'

Josip Ilicic bagged a hat-trick, including a lob from the centre-circle, as Atalanta annihilated Torino 7-0. “My first idea was to go for goal.”

The Slovenian is the only player to have at least one hat-trick in each of the last Serie A campaigns, four overall in his Italian top flight career.

He turns 32 next week and now has 13 goals in 17 Serie A appearances this season.

“I grabbed the ball straight away, as my daughters want to play with the hat-trick balls,” he told DAZN.

“I saw they were not positioned properly, my first idea was to go for goal and it went in. I was lucky, but you need that in football.”

After that amazing goal, Papu Gomez jokingly pretended to polish his left boot, just as Francesco Moriero used to with Ronaldo.

“These gestures show how far we’ve all come together, players, fans and coach, but we want to go even further. I don’t like to look at statistics, I just want to do many great things with this club.”

It’s a remarkable turnaround considering Atalanta lost 2-1 at home to bottom club SPAL on Monday.

“We need to finish games off and realise that sometimes you have to win 1-0 too, because you can’t always win like we did tonight. We prepared the same way against SPAL, even though you could tell we weren’t at our best that day.”

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