Monday March 9 2020
Gasp: 'Spain like Italy a month ago'

Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini says the feeling in Spain surrounding the Coronavirus is “what Italy was like a month ago” ahead of their Champions League Round of 16 second leg clash with Valencia.

La Dea hold a 4-1 lead over the Spanish side from the first leg, but Gasperini expects the second game to be very different.

“We won’t be influenced by the result of the first game. I believe that by not doing so we can play the second leg in the best possible way,” Gasperini told Sky Sport Italia.

“We know that Valencia are a very dangerous side and we want to face them like we know how.”

Gasperini then commented on the Coronavirus situation that is grinding Italy to a halt.

“Being here [in Spain] is like being at home a month ago. We arrived here safely. It’s very different here compared to Italy.

“We need to make assessments in terms of health but also from a social point of view: playing behind closed doors, like yesterday, even in a context that nobody likes, could be of comfort to the people locked up in the house.

“However the priority remains the health of the people.”

Atalanta are on the verge of history by reaching the last eight of the Champions League.

“We are focused on qualifying [for the next round]. It’s clear that after the result of the first game, we have a lot of confidence that we can progress. It would be an exceptional achievement for the lads, the club and the fans.

“We have faced this competition and wanted to make a good impression and to bring our fans around Europe with great enthusiasm.

“We are trying to focus only on the match and tomorrow’s result, we don’t want to think about what will happen after.”