HomeFootball NewsAtalanta v Liverpool: Gasperini demands his players hit reset button

Atalanta v Liverpool: Gasperini demands his players hit reset button

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Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini was happy to resort to the old cliche that “we are starting at 0-0” as they attempt to finish the job and knock Liverpool out of the Europa League tomorrow night.

The Italians cruised to a hugely impressive 3-0 victory at Anfield last Thursday in the first leg of their quarter-final tie to give themselves one foot in the last four.

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Since then Liverpool’s domestic title challenge also suffered a huge blow with a 1-0 defeat at home to Crystal Palace that saw them relinquish top spot in the Premier League to defending champions Manchester City.

Nevertheless, Gasperini has been in the game too long to underestimate Jurgen Klopp’s men in the return in Bergamo.

He said: “It would be a mistake to think about the 3-0 in the first leg. We have to play as if we are starting at 0-0.

“Liverpool are a great team regardless of their recent defeats. There is a lot of balance and everyone always gives their all. They remain a team of great value, one of the strongest in the world.”

The winner of the tie between Marseille and Benfica await in the semi-finals, giving Atalanta a real shot at reaching the final in Dublin in May.

Gasperini added: “The push from our home fans can help us a lot. Bergamo is experiencing great excitement, and what seemed like an impossible goal has become possible, even if still difficult. We all believe in it.”

Atalanta midfielder Marten De Roon believes the club can count on wider support against the Merseysiders.

He said: “I don’t just think only Bergamo but all of Italy will be with us tomorrow night.

“There is a great desire to get to the semi-finals, it is my dream and that of all my team-mates.

“It will be difficult, Liverpool can score goals at any time, every moment can change the game but there is great desire to fight. They can give us trouble, but we can give them trouble.

“We will show the same mentality and intensity that we showed at Anfield and see where it gets us.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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