Gasperini: “Man United Still a Work in Progress Despite Potential”

Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini previewed the clash with Manchester United: “It would be key for us only we won. Other results would leave things open. The math says we need six points to advance.”

Gasperini drew a comparison between the Red Devils and the other English powerhouses: “We faced Manchester City and Liverpool while they were at their peak. They had been building for years. United still look like a work in progress to me. However, they have remarkable potential, and I think they are still searching for the right balance. They could have an exploit at any moment. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did an incredible job last season. Now he is seeking more consistency.”

Gasperini provided some injury updates: “Jose Luis Palomino and Merih Demiral are fine. Berat Djimsiti has been practicing with the group. He did not suffer a muscular injury, so it is a different situation. He does not move his arm fluidly yet. It is risky, especially if he fell on it. He is not available tomorrow. Rafael Toloi will be back after the break. Matteo Pessina is very close. He has a shot for the Cagliari game. Robin Gosens is progressing well. Their injuries happened 20 days ago, which is not a long time. We were unlucky because they came in bunches. But they allowed us to rediscover versatility and desire. The squad reacted very well.”

Gasperini commented on Cristian Ronaldo: “It is an obvious thing, but he is extraordinary technically speaking. I was sorry when he moved back to England because I always wish top players stayed in Italy. Serie A has gotten more balanced, as the minnows have reduced the gap with the best sides. However, the difficulty of domestic matches still is not comparable to the Champions League ones.”