Saturday February 8 2020
Gasperini: 'Atalanta deserved points'

Gian Piero Gasperini felt Atalanta “did more and deserved the victory” against Fiorentina, while thanking the Viola fans for their amusing banter.

The 2-1 result allows La Dea to break three points clear of Roma in fourth place, scoring 61 goals this season.

“These are three very important points, especially in an arena where Atalanta hadn’t won for 27 years and against a team in good shape,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“We found ourselves behind, wasted a couple of big chances with Mario Pasalic, but over the full 90 minutes I think we did more and deserved the victory.

“The goals we scored showed quality, we had belief that we could win the game and were concentrated to avoid getting caught on the counter-attack.

“Papu Gomez creates alternatives and options, because he can go forward and defend, roam fairly free and cause problems for the opposition.

“Duvan Zapata seemed a little tired in the first half and paradoxically did better after the break. He just needs to play after such a long time out and his form will inevitably grow.”

Fiorentina fans gravely offended Gasperini with non-stop abuse during last month’s Coppa Italia meeting here, so they took a different tack this time around.

Some ultras even wore a printed Viola shirt with ‘Gasperini one of us’ and made sure the coach received his own version.

“Undoubtedly, the appeals had their effect. It’s a wonderful bit of banter and I’ll keep it! As I said, last time it was a bit over the top. Banter is fine, as long as it’s within the limits of decency.

“It was a good atmosphere today, I hope the Fiorentina fans can return to cheering on their own team more than insulting the opposition.”

Atalanta are continuing to have great results at the same time as making huge profits with player sales.

“Lads arrive in Bergamo with great enthusiasm and see it as a place where they can focus on developing their careers. The club creates the ideal environment for young players to grow and there is relatively little pressure on us for results, as above all the fans want to see good football. That is undoubtedly an advantage.

“We also had players like Musa Barrow, Dejan Kulusevski, Roger Ibanez and Matteo Pessina who are all very talented, but I don’t tend to work with a big squad, so they deserve to go out to get more playing time,” continued Gasperini.

“Barrow grew up here, we are so happy to see him score two goals for Bologna yesterday. It’s good to see these youngsters grow and flourish, also with the education they receive at Atalanta, because that is very important to us here."

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