Gasperini explains how Atalanta work on versatility

by | Jan 22, 2022 22:07

Gian Piero Gasperini can’t help but be happy with Atalanta’s point against Lazio when missing 10 players and explains how their training sessions allow them to ‘adapt’ to different roles.

La Dea’s trip to Rome had been in doubt, as they had seven players with COVID-19, several injuries and only two senior outfield players on the bench.

Nonetheless, they put in a strong performance and largely neutralised Lazio, risking only when Mattia Zaccagni smashed a shot against the base of the upright.

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“We could’ve done more, we always can do more, but it’s difficult for me to not be happy with this performance,” Gasp told Sky Sport Italia.

“So many lads had to adapt to different roles, then we lost Miranchuk to injury as well, just as he was starting to take advantage of the spaces opening up.

“I didn’t have any forwards on the bench, so we lacked alternatives, but I am very happy with what we managed to do.”

It was their second consecutive 0-0 draw after the one with leaders Inter, their third 0-0 in the last four rounds.

“It’s not just Duvan Zapata, we are missing Malinovskyi, Ilicic and Muriel too. Miranchuk got hurt today as well. We had to use Pessina and then Pezzella upfront!

“We still managed to create some chances. Naturally, we had to focus primarily on defence, but we created far more scoring opportunities against Inter last week.

“We’ve got to accept that with 10 players out, most of them forwards, and against a Lazio side coming off good form, keeping them at a distance is positive. We must wait for this storm to pass and hold on in there.

“I didn’t want to transform the rest of the squad, so I had to use Scalvini in midfield. He has played there in the past, I needed his physicality and height on Milinkovic-Savic, so he did really well until he got cramp.

“The fact remains, we ran very few risks other than Zaccagni hitting the post.”

Atalanta have become remarkably resilient when dealing with injuries and suspensions, as players are able to take different roles.

Gasperini reveals there is a good reason for that, which is also why they enjoy their training so much.

“We have developed an ability to adapt to different situations over the years. Part of it is because in training the defenders have fun in attack, the forwards like to play at being defender, so it keeps us entertained and broadens our horizons at the same time.

“The other day, Merih Demiral scored a goal after dribbling past three players, he ran all the way round the pitch to celebrate! You’ll see, he will end up in attack eventually!”


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