Gian Piero Gasperini had the highest praise for Atalanta after beating Lazio 3-2. ‘I get the feeling they don’t need a coach anymore! Their confidence never wavers, they know exactly what to do.’
The coach was in the stands due to a touchline ban, but watched his side fight back from 2-0 down to win 3-2.
“It’s no fun in the stands, as you can’t intervene even on the tiny things like advising your players,” Gasp told Sky Sport Italia.
“It’s a struggle, but it was also immensely satisfying, as I got the feeling this team doesn’t need a coach anymore! They know exactly what to do and all it takes is a gesture or a word to get them going.
“This Atalanta side has this maturity and confidence in its football that it never wavers, even in the most difficult of circumstances like this evening. Fighting back from 2-0 against a team like Lazio, always having the confidence that we’d turn it around, not many squads can say they feel like that.”
La Dea are the comeback kings of Serie A, repeatedly turning games around, but also by far the top scorers in the tournament with 77 goals in 27 rounds.
“We do tend to start slow, it happened so many times and we can’t seem to fix it. We had tried to be a little more guarded tonight and yet we conceded two goals.
“It’s difficult when 2-0 down, as you are open to the counter-attack, but we found our balance by moving (Rafael) Toloi and (Jose Luis) Palomino around, making Papu (Gomez) another forward. At a certain point, we find that balance and don’t let the through balls or the runs get in behind us.
“Gomez is a universal player, someone you can put more or less anywhere on the field and he will make an impact. Now we hope to get Josip Ilicic back to full fitness, as he came off the bench this evening and provided the assist for the third goal.”
Atalanta also score regularly with their wing-backs, as Robin Gosens was again on target this evening.
“Gosens has been with us for three years now. He struggled at the start to really attack, but he has improved over time and is now so dangerous upfront. The same goes for Hans Hateboer.”