Before playing Juventus FC to a 2-2 draw on Saturday, Atalanta manager Gian Piero Gasperini shared his reaction to playing Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals during a pre-match press conference (via Canal Supporters).
“We experienced the draw with emotion, PSG are an important team, and they aim to win the Champions League,” Gasperini said.
Despite the juicy matchup with PSG, Gasperini wanted his squad to remain focused on Serie A. Entering the match against Juve, Atalanta could’ve leaped frog Lazio in the standings but missed their opportunity.
“We have already tasted the atmosphere of European competition, it will surely be a great emotion, but today we have to think about the championship,” Gasperini said. “We have time for everything related to the Champions League.”
Furthermore, Gasperini explained how he used the matchup against Juve as a measuring stick to playing PSG.
“Juventus is another contender to win the Champions League. We will simulate the challenge that awaits us with PSG,” Gasperini said. “It is a team that we will try to face with attention and concentration. We are in an exceptional period in terms of results and performance. We have to continue like this.”
Atalanta drew the first goal of the match as Papu Gómez and Duván Zapata connected for the opening score. Juve caught a break with a hand-ball to tie the matchup.
However, Atalanta didn’t panic and would score a second goal to go up 2-1. It seemed as though they’d walk away with all three points, but it wasn’t the case. Once again, La Dea committed a hand-ball and another Juve goal courtesy of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Despite the draw, Atalanta did show that they can play against a big club. There’s no intimidation, but Juve, although holding first place in Serie A, was sloppy. PSG cannot be careless and lazy out of the gate or they could be chasing the game as Juve did in this match.
Want more PSG? Visit the PSG Talk Podcast Network page and subscribe to PSG Talking, The 1970, and 24th & Parc.