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Gasperini Frustrated by Atalanta Slip-Up in Austria

Gian Piero Gasperini was understandably frustrated and annoyed after Atalanta fumbled a lead away to 10-man Sturm Graz. ‘We had all the conditions necessary to win.’

They had gone behind early on, only to turn it around and lead 2-1 in first half stoppages with a Luis Muriel brace.

When Stefan Hierlander saw red, it seemed as if the job was done in Austria, but instead Sead Kolasinac’s handling offence allowed Sturm Graz to equalise from the penalty spot.

“We had all the conditions necessary to win and in those circumstances it was all going our way,” Gasperini told Sky Sport Italia.

“Of course, things are never easy in Europe, but it was still a wasted opportunity. We made it more complicated for ourselves and only had a few dangerous chances at the end.”

Gasp surprised by leaving both Gianluca Scamacca and Charles De Ketelaere on the bench, but it paid off with Muriel getting both goals.

“I always try to field the best line-up for the occasion. Muriel and Lookman are in better shape right now than Scamacca and De Ketelaere. Scamacca has the quality to become a truly important player. He just needs to train consistently and put into practice what he’s been working on.”

Muriel had been expected to leave Atalanta over the summer, but the departure of Duvan Zapata saw a change of plan, even with his contract running down.

“I have known Muriel for years and we made a pact. He is showing very positive signs over the last month and this evening I saw some of his old moves.

“The pact is that he must not give up, because even if his contract is running down, he must think of himself as a player who can still give us a great deal.

“He has to make a few sacrifices to keep in shape, when he is retired then he will not have to make those anymore. He knows how much respect I have for him.”

The 2-2 draw is not all bad news, because Sporting CP down to 10 men were held to a 1-1 draw by Rakow, so Atalanta remain three points clear at the top of the group.

Source : Football Italia

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