Gasperini: ‘Ilicic and Muriel raise Atalanta up’

by | Dec 20, 2020 19:17

Gian Piero Gasperini hails Josip Ilicic and Luis Muriel after Atalanta turned Roma over 4-1, but won’t discuss Papu Gomez. ‘When the President gets angry…’

Edin Dzeko had put Roma in front in the opening minutes, but Ilicic came off the bench at half-time to provide two assists for Robin Gosens and Duvan Zapata, then scored one himself late on after Muriel.

Gian Piero Gasperini hails Josip Ilicic and Luis Muriel after Atalanta turned Roma over 4-1, but won’t discuss Papu Gomez. ‘When the President gets angry…’

Edin Dzeko had put Roma in front in the opening minutes, but Ilicic came off the bench at half-time to provide two assists for Robin Gosens and Duvan Zapata, then scored one himself late on after Muriel.

“Ilicic is the player who if we get him back to his best, he gives us a big step up in quality. Everyone knows that,” Gasperini told Sky Sport Italia.

“He’s a bit inconsistent, both in training and during the game, and tended to lose his confidence when things went wrong. However, he’s been training so well this week, hitting the ball so hard and with precision, I knew he’d put in this kind of performance.

“I am very happy with Malinovskyi and Miranchuk, who until Tuesday was still isolating due to COVID, so with more options from the squad, we’ll have a better chance of doing well.”

Ilicic changed the game coming off the bench, but Gasperini insists Atalanta had already started pressing Roma for the equaliser before that.

“We conceded the goal within five minutes and then Leonardo Spinazzola hit the post, but after that we were always in control. It’s true we weren’t as dangerous as we wanted to be in the first half, and Roma were sitting back to protect their lead and go on the counter.

“We laid the foundations for this comeback in the first half and not just after the break.”

This was a commanding victory in the absence of Papu Gomez, who in agreement with the club was not even called up to the squad for this game.

“When a coach gets angry, it’s bad. When a President gets angry, it’s more complicated. I will no longer answer questions on this. It is something the club will sort out,” continued a clearly annoyed Gasp.

“We drew at Juventus, we beat Ajax, beat Roma, and yet you only talk about this. Enough. We’ve had several games since then.

“Atalanta deserve to talk about their performances and for respect to be shown to the players who are going out there and getting the results.”

Is it a coincidence that La Dea have stepped up a gear in Serie A after Champions League commitments stopped?

“Football is about moments. Naturally, playing the Champions League each and every week is going to take a lot out of you, especially when you’re up against Liverpool and Ajax. We had a few problems, some lads had COVID, others were injured, but we were always there.”

Muriel confirmed his status as the ultimate supersub, but Gasperini had kind words for the Colombian.

“I owe Muriel. It’s true he is an extraordinary player to come off the bench, as he has these changes of pace straight away against tired legs that he becomes decisive nine times out of 10.

“However, I do admit I should’ve started him more often and he should realise he is a very important player for Atalanta. I’ve seen him do the most extraordinary things in training when one-on-one with the goalkeeper, this little flick with the heel to move the ball, one day he’ll do it in a game.

“He seemed sad in recent weeks and I hope this goal can help bring back his smile.”

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Club by Club News

 NEWS

RELATED POSTS
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap