Atalanta Boss Gasperini Delivers Verdict on Fiorentina Clash

Atalanta picked up a vital 3-2 away victory at Fiorentina on Sunday night to move into Serie A top-four again. Gian Piero Gasperini believes that his side’s top-four charge will go down to the wire, as La Dea hold a fragile two-point lead on fifth-placed Napoli.

With eight games left to play in Serie A, four sides will fancy their chances of qualifying for the Champions League next season. Securing a berth in Europe’s most prestigious club competition’s group stage for the third year running would be a massive success for Atalanta.

However, the Bergamo-based outfit will have to fight tooth and nail to make it happen as they face stiff competition from Napoli, AC Milan, and Juventus for the three qualifying slots. Last year’s Champions League quarter-finalists came out on top of a five-goal epic at the Stadio Artemio Franchi to post their fourth consecutive Serie A triumph.

Despite boasting a two-goal lead at half-time, Atalanta nearly blew everything up in the second half as Dusan Vlahovic’s quick-fire double put things back to square one. The visitors showed character pursuing success, with Josip Ilic converting a spot-kick in the 70th minute to seal all three points for Gasperini’s side.

During the post-game interview, the 63-year-old manager delivered his verdict on Atalanta’s tight win in Florence.

It was a difficult evening, as everyone won and we were the only ones left. We ran a lot of risks, we almost didn’t win, but these are three fundamental points, as essentially the table remains what it was this morning, and there’s one round less to play. Now we go into a pretty remarkable week,” he told Sky Sports Italia (via TUTTOmercatoWEB).

It’s not the first time we’ve left the game open, but we did score three goals. Duvan Zapata told me when coming off he should’ve had five today!

Fiorentina pushed hard. They were very aggressive and determined. We did well to resume creating chances and scoring goals after we were pulled back for 2-2.

I believe the race for the top four will go down to the wire this season. It’ll be down to the last day.

Ilicic, who decided the match, hailed his teammates’ efforts to restore the lead after being pegged back.

We are known for this – the game is never closed with us. We know that too, but our strength is that we get back on our feet and react to setbacks,” he said.

Having said that, we need to improve our defending in the future.