Gasperini rues incidents and Atalanta striker shortage

Gian Piero Gasperini believes Atalanta lost to Fiorentina because of ‘incidents’ and admits he ‘frankly expected’ the club to sign another striker this season.

La Dea had an early goal disallowed by VAR for Duvan Zapata’s offside position, where he was considered to be interfering with play despite not touching the ball, then Fiorentina received a harsh penalty for Joakim Maehle’s handball.

“We played our game, there were incidents that went against us in the first half and those changed the match,” Gasperini told Sky Sport Italia.

Serie A | Atalanta 1-2 Fiorentina: Vlahovic and VAR decisive

“The performance was not bad, so even if the defeat leaves regrets and disappointment, we have to look at the big picture and this is a team that will do well again this season.

“Fiorentina are a very strong side and we played well against them. We are convinced the result was decided by certain incidents and I hope that soon we get more clarity, because we don’t understand what the rules are.”

Gasperini was asked about the transfer strategy this season and revealed he was not happy with the lack of reinforcements upfront, especially now Luis Muriel is ruled out for a couple of months.

“Clearly when a coach is in his sixth season at a club, things change over time and you must learn to adapt. I am convinced we’ll do well this season too.

“In certain ways, the squad was made more complete this summer, we saw Davide Zappacosta tonight did very well, while I think Teun Koopmeiners has great quality.

“I frankly expected us to bring in another forward, but the club either didn’t manage to do that or decided to put its faith in the existing options. We have to make the most of the quality we have and I am convinced that if we play like we did this evening, we will do well again.

“I would always bring in new forwards, as you can make the difference in balanced games like this one. At the same time, I must recognise we were the top scorers in Serie A last season, so we just have to repeat that.

“We’ve been playing with the same strikers basically for the last three years. I do think the team improved in every other area and can give us satisfaction this season.”

It is arguable that Atalanta never really replaced Papu Gomez when he left for Sevilla in January.

They had been heavily linked with Jeremie Boga, but Sassuolo’s €30m asking price proved too steep.

Duvan Zapata was not expected to start this evening, but there were no other real alternatives.