Football Soccer Atalanta set for biggest game in clubs history against
Football Soccer Atalanta set for biggest game in clubs history against

Football: Soccer-Atalanta set for biggest game in club’s history against Liverpool

(Reuters) – Italian club Atalanta have a healthy lead from the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final with Liverpool, but the return game at home is still probably the most important match in their history, manager Gian Piero Gasperini said on Wednesday.

Atalanta shocked the Anfield crowd when they came away with a 3-0 victory last week, and now the Serie A side must finish the job in Bergamo in front of their own fans.

“We are happy to play a match of this value in front of our fans, finally with the stadium taking shape,” Gasperini told a press conference ahead of Thursday’s game.

“We know that it will be one of the most important games in our history, if not the most important, but these are things that are said on the eve of the game, then comes the moment when we will have to know how to isolate ourselves.”

Gasperini does not want his players resting on their laurels and thinking that the work is already done when they face Juergen Klopp’s side.

“We know the difficulty, for us they are still the same team, despite us winning the first leg,” he said.

“Tomorrow we start from 0-0, our ability will have to be not thinking about the result of the first leg, that has to be our goal.

“I expect the best Liverpool possible, with a team that will come here to play all its chances, we will have to play a great game to get a result.”

Atalanta captain Marten De Roon believes his side will have more than just the support of the local fans in their bid to reach the semi-finals.

“I don’t think only in Bergamo, but I believe that all of Italy will be behind us tomorrow,” De Roon said.

“It’s a very special game, playing against an important team is really special, we want to do our best, like we did there.”

For the home fans, their hopes of seeing their team play in a European final for the first time ever are still very much alive.

“I saw the happiness of the fans after the victory. I think this could be a small dream for all of Bergamo, now it’s up to us to make everything even more special by moving on to the next round,” De Roon said.

(Reporting by Trevor Stynes; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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