Saturday January 23 2021
Gasperini hails 'best Atalanta performance'

Gian Piero Gasperini calls the 3-0 win over Milan ‘one of our best performances since I’ve been’ on the Atalanta bench, but won’t start Scudetto talk.

La Dea beat Milan 5-0 in Bergamo just over a year ago and it was a similarly dominant performance at San Siro, winning 3-0 with Cristian Romero’s header, a Josip Ilicic penalty and Duvan Zapata strike.

“Ilicic had a great game, although there were some situations where he is capable of doing better. Everyone had a great game,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“This is one of our best performances since I’ve been here. We achieved it against the Serie A leaders, the Winter Champions, but we were superior in every way this evening and that is immensely satisfying.

“After the game with Liverpool, which was horrible conceding five goals at home, we learned and made the changes we needed to.

“We press the opponents much more, which allows us to protect the defence, and we’ve been doing that for several weeks now.”

Atalanta famously step on the gas in the second half of the season, getting more points than anyone in the last two campaigns.

“We want to keep going, stay in the region of that top four, because we finished third for two years running and I think we can do that again.

“It’ll be very difficult, as Inter, Roma, Napoli, Milan have all reinforced. If you want to make me talk about the Scudetto, then you will fail!

“As I said, we’d talk about it in 25-26 rounds. I think we’ll have a better idea of what’s going on then. It’s going to be very open this season and we cannot shoulder the obligation of victory. We want to win, of course, but it’s not expected.”

San Siro

“When I stepped into this stadium, I thought back to that Champions League game with Valencia. It was almost a year ago and we must accept football has changed. Of course, playing away to Amsterdam or Liverpool with a crowd is more difficult.

“We’ve also taken this time to develop our confidence, realising we can have it out with any opponent, not try to just defend or accept defeat. We can have our say and attack.”