Wednesday March 3 2021
Gasperini praised 'high-level' Ilicic

Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini said Josip Ilicic acted like ‘the professor’ he knows he can be against Crotone.

The Orobici had an early scare with Crotone’s equaliser, but soon ran riot with five goals to ruin Serse Cosmo’s debut.

“In the first half it seemed like a bewitched match for the amount we produced,” Gasperini told Sky Sport Italia after the match.

“Then we showed that we are well and healthy. The goals were all of quality, we’ll try to continue this good moment.

“The table is tight; thus we can’t afford to relax.”

Robin Gosens scored the first goal of the match after 12 minutes and Gasperini praised the wing-back.

“He’s doing well, he’s an extraordinary guy,” Gasperini continued. “He has added a scoring ability in the penalty area with both his head and his feet.

“He’s a sniper, because he knows how to read the attacking phase well, making himself ready.”

Atalanta can confidently prepare to face League leaders Inter on Sunday.

“There’s never an ideal moment, we know we are facing a very strong team that have changed gears,” the coach added.

“Right now, they are showing they deserve this position even with a certain advantage, certainly in relation to Madrid [in the Champions League]

“It’s a good test.”

Gasperini praised Josip Ilicic for having put down a ‘high-level’ performance.

“Today he played at a high-level, he was very good,” Gasperini said and then joked: “If he trains consistently and doesn’t act like a grandmother, as I tell him now and then.

“When he is like this, I call him the professor.”