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Gasperini Still Critical Of Atalanta After Champions League Win

Champions League Trophy

Gian Piero Gasperini was still critical of Atalanta even after a 4-1 Champions League Round of 16 win over Valencia.

“We must prove in the second leg that we deserve to be in the quarter-finals.”

It was an almost perfect first leg performance at San Siro, as La Dea ran into a 4-0 lead with Hans Hateboer’s brace, Josip Ilicic and Remo Freuler individual efforts.

The Denis Cheryshev away goal leaves some faint hope for Los Che in the second leg, which will be at the Mestalla on March 10.

“We are on the one hand very satisfied, as we’d have happily accepted a scoreline like that,” Gasp told Sky Sport Italia.

“Yet we end up feeling regret over conceding that away goal, as we really shouldn’t have made that mistake when 4-0 up and it wasn’t the only situation like that.

“We need to be more precise when we go to the Mestalla. If we want to get into the Champions League quarter-finals, we have to play like this at the Mestalla too, prove we deserve to be there with a show of strength and win there too.

“We are a team who create many chances, it could perhaps have had more goals for us and them tonight. We created our goals, they sort of received gifts from us on theirs. We got a bit euphoric and lost sight of our concentration at times.

“We’ll analyse now what we got wrong and learn from these errors, as we want to prove in the second leg that we deserve to be there.

“We’ve got to score there too. We will do some defending, but I don’t want us to go to Spain and just sit on a three-goal lead, suffering the entire time.”

Valencia had to do without numerous players at San Siro, while Atalanta had to make a last-minute change.

“Rodrigo was missing and he is a very important striker for Valencia. The two centre-backs were also out of action. We lost Berat Djimsiti in the warm-up and Mattia Caldara was coming back from a long lay-off. We were a little too shaky in playing it out from the back and that’s usually one of our strengths, especially as Valencia leave massive spaces on the counter if you get past the initial press.

“The Mestalla is a passionate atmosphere, one goal could light them up and we need to be precise in our passing to ensure we don’t let them build up a head of steam.

“I want to celebrate now, but above all I want to celebrate in 15 days.”