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Gasperini targets ‘extraordinary’ end after Atalanta reach Coppa Italia final

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Gian Piero Gasperini insists Atalanta won’t be easing off the gas anytime soon as they target an “extraordinary” finish after reaching the Coppa Italia final.

Following a 3-3 thriller in the first-leg in February, Atalanta played host to Fiorentina for the return fixture of their semi-final tie in Bergamo.

However, Luis Muriel threatened to spoil things for the home crowd by putting Fiorentina in the third minute. Although it didn’t take long for Atalanta to go back level following Josip Ilicic’s penalty-kick just 11 minutes later.

La Dea captain Alejandro Gomez then fired in a powerful shot in the second half to seal a 2-1 victory for the hosts. Upon winning the tie 5-4 on aggregate, Atalanta will be in their first cup final since 1996.

Aside from this, however, the Italian side still have plenty to play for in the Serie A. Currently, Atalanta are level on points with fourth-placed AC Milan as they chase Champions League qualification.

Therefore, Gasperini doesn’t plan on taking it easy for the remainder of the league campaign.

“Now we prepare for Udinese, as we are challenging for something extraordinary,” the Atalanta boss told Rai Sport.

“The city of Bergamo is buzzing, but we have to bring the results home at the end of it all and reaching Europe for the third year running would be a great achievement.

“This was the most delicate test for us, because it was so close to the Napoli trip. Before the Coppa Italia final, we’ve got time to prepare and our focus will all be on Serie A. With our position and the fixture list, we have every right to play our cards and take our chances.

“Some of our players felt the strain of Monday’s game against Napoli, which took a lot out of us, but that just means they deserve even more praise for fighting through the pain to win tonight.”

Atalanta will take on Lazio in the Coppa Italia final on May 15 at the Stadio Olimpico.

BERGAMO, ITALY – APRIL 25: Atalanta BC players celebrate the victory at the end of the TIM Cup match between Atalanta BC and ACF Fiorentina at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia on April 25, 2019 in Bergamo, Italy. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)