Gasperini says Atalanta has “earned the right to fight for Europe”

The team’s coach says his team will fight hard for a spot in European competitions next year, after beating Napoli 2-1.

Atalanta defeated Italian Lega Serie A second-place club Napoli tonight.

And with that, the team has “earned our right to fight for Europe” said coach Gian Piero Gasperini.

“Napoli were excellent in the first half and had the chances to make it 2-0, at which point it would’ve been difficult,” he was quoted by Football Italia.

“We stayed in there, threw on the options we had on the bench including Josip Ilicic and after the equalizer, we kept riding the momentum.”

He commented: “We have a game that we really are looking forward to on Thursday, but also knew a victory here would give us a huge boost. We’re right up there for Europe and close by to Milan.”

“We haven’t said that we’re in the running for the Champions League, but we’re up there, so we’ll wait and see. There is also the Coppa Italia and reaching the Final would be a great satisfaction for the city of Bergamo.”

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“The thing we have to focus on is that we are there and we won’t let go now. For me personally, it’d be the fourth season out of five that my team qualified for Europe between Torino and Genoa. It is more than possible to achieve these targets at a mid-level club,” he added.

“With the Coppa Italia, we beat Juventus and earned our right to fight in the semi-final. Tonight we won in Naples and earned our right to fight until the very end for the top four. So we’re not a fluke.”

“I protested because I thought it was a free kick on the edge of the box, but I didn’t leave the technical area. It’s not easy for Coaches to just stand there with hands by our sides during these moments,” Gasperini concluded, talking about being sent off.

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