Gian Piero Gasperini slammed the ‘absolute chaos’ on the way referees evaluate handball after Atalanta’s controversial Europa League quarter-final exit to RB Leipzig.

La Dea were eliminated from the Europa League quarter-final after a 2-0 home defeat, decided by Christopher Nkunku’s brace.

The first leg had been 1-1 in Germany, but once again this season, Atalanta proved more effective on their travels than at the Gewiss Stadium.

“It was a balanced game, we thought we had played pretty well, even if we didn’t get that final spark,” said Gasperini in his press conference.

“We attacked constantly and didn’t get enough shots on target. RB Leipzig are undoubtedly a very good team.”

However, with the score at 0-1 this evening, the Spanish referee refused to give Atalanta a penalty for Dani Olmo’s handling offence, even after VAR told him to view it again with the on-field review.

“The strange thing is that just before that the referee gave a free kick for handball that seemed much less of a handling offence than the one in the penalty area. There is absolute chaos when it comes to the handball rules, as even the same referee can judge situations differently 30 seconds apart.”

Nkunku opened the scoring on a counter-attack down the right and pull-back for the tap-in from six yards.

“Unfortunately, that is often the way, Leipzig close up and then go on the counter with pace. Sometimes they do it very well. We’ve been doing this a lot lately, attacking for long periods and not finding that final pass or decisive shot.”

A similar issue has been clear in Serie A, where Atalanta have fallen behind in the race for European qualification.

Now that they are out of the Europa League, they need to focus on recovering lost ground.

“We still have a chance, although we need a lot of victories to get back up the standings.”

8 thought on “Gasperini: ‘Absolute chaos’ on handball rules in Europe”
  1. Yet again, decisions which always go for the Spanish teams goes against one of our teams. UEFA/FIFA hate us and only when we defy the odds stacked against us (the Euros) do we get what we deserve.

  2. Atalanta. Mamma mia, another team full of bidoni, They have Carnesecchi who could be in that goal but they have Musso… and scalvini on the bench tonight after playing quite well. I just can’t even pretend to be shocked when our clubs get knocked out of cups anymore. Serie A clubs and these greedy sweaty club owners really need to wake up and start investing properly instead of this rubbish with getting players from abroad on the cheap, i look at this atalanta side and see very little quality to be honest, of course if the forwards were italian and didn’t score they would never play again but because they are foreign they are femnomeni… Italian football please please please for next season and beyond pull your head out of la sabbia, Christ the King

  3. Yes, it should have been a penalty. And yes, many Italian teams have had controversial calls go against them in Europe this season. But this whole “anti-Italian conspiracy” narrative that people are quick to adopt is exactly the kind of loser mentality Italian football is guilty of and needs to overcome. There is no conspiracy. Sometimes the calls go against you, and when you don’t have the quality, it can doom you. The root problem is Italian football being not good enough. Not a grand conspiracy. Its just more excuses.

  4. Spanish refs should not ref Italian games. I’ve lived in both countries and there is a real rivalry between the two.

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