Mon, 28 Sep 2020

Atalanta coach: "I thought the match was won"

13 Aug 2020, 10:51 GMT+10

LISBON, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- After being defeated in the final minutes, Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini said he was "sorry" for the substitutions he chose at the end of the game and admitted that he made a mistake because he thought the match "already seemed won".

The Italian team had been winning the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal clash until the last minute of the regular time when the Paris Saint-Germain managed to reverse the score in less than four minutes.

"Repentance is great. It looked like we were going to make it, and it would be a great achievement. We were close (to win), it seemed won," lamented Gasperini in an interview with journalists at the end of the confrontation.

"It remains a great performance against one of the greatest in Europe and I can only thank my players. But, when you play against one of the best teams in the world, both at a technical and athletic level, it is difficult", he consoled himself.

According to the Italian coach, the outlook for the match completely changed when striker Kylian Mbappe entered the field, 60 minutes into the second half.

"The shock caused by Mbappe was decisive. We did everything to try to contain it. Doing more than we did would be difficult," said Gasperini.

"The Champions League is a singular competition. It is made up of details, and it is the details that determine the final balance in the field. In many counter-attacks, we could have done something better. These are the details", he added.

In the assessment of the Italian coach, however, Atalanta leaves the UEFA Champions League 2020 competition with honor, considering that it was only his first participation in the most important club tournament in Europe.

"The people of our city are celebrating, because they know that this team gave their all, with enthusiasm and passion. We are happy and, next season, we will try to improve," he concluded.

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