Gasperini: ‘Spezia game not easy for Atalanta’

Gian Piero Gasperini is glad Luis Muriel and others are getting back into shape for Atalanta, but it was ‘certainly not an easy game’ against Spezia.

La Dea were caught cold early by M’Bala Nzola, but fought back for a thumping 5-2 victory, including a Mario Pasalic brace.

Serie A | Atalanta 5-2 Spezia: Pasalic inspires Dea rout

“Pasalic is going through a great period of form, he was decisive today with both assists and goals. Ruslan Malinovskyi and Luis Muriel came off the bench with the right attitude, but this was certainly not an easy game,” Gasperini told DAZN.

“We lowered the tempo too much in the second half, gifting possession to Spezia, a side who know how to build play out from the back. It was good considering this was our first game back after international duty, but some were a little tired at the end.”

Rafael Toloi made his comeback in defence, while Muriel got his second Serie A goal of the season after a dry spell.

“Everyone knows how important Muriel is to us. We’re in a good period of form, it’s a very tough run of fixtures coming up, but we go into it in good shape.”

Lazio and Juventus go head-to-head this evening, but so do Inter and Napoli tomorrow. Which result would Gasperini hope for?

“We’re in a good position. When there are these head-to-head clashes, we always hope for a draw, so we can gain on them both, but the season has a long way to go and we must above all focus on ourselves.”