Winning home goal, Gasperini admits Atalanta has an advantage against Leverkusen

Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini says his team has a slight advantage ahead of facing Bayer Leverkusen in the second leg of the Europa League last 16 at the BayArena Stadium, Leverkusen, Germany, Friday (18/3)

Quoted from football-italy, Thursday (17/3), Gasperini explained that Atalanta’s 3-2 win in the first leg will try to take advantage of this match.

“Atalanta are on their way, it’s been a difficult campaign for everyone. We have a chance to continue in the Europa League, so there are positives. There are some negatives as well, but Atalanta as a whole are in a prestigious position,” said Gasperini.

“Bayer Leverkusen are third in Germany, we saw how good they are, and the most important thing now is to get to the next round.”

Gasperini continued to say that he hoped to return to the sharpness of his striker Luis Muriel, who in the first leg was able to score two goals against Leverkusen which was guarded by Lukas Hradecky.

According to him, Muriel often has an impact on Atalanta’s game, although in his last match against Genoa in the Italian League, the Colombian player failed to score a goal.

“He has more starters than usual, but I am happy with his performance. When you are a striker, the distance between the goal and the post can be only a few centimeters,” said Gasperini.

The Italian said it was an amazing experience for Atalanta to play in Europe and face the quality of the best teams in a beautiful stadium and great crowd.

“It’s good that we face the best teams in Europe. Both tournaments are very difficult and if you don’t give your best, you risk paying the price,” explained Gasperini.

In this match, Atalanta only needed to secure a draw after beating Bayer Leverkusen 3-2 in the first meeting thanks to goals from Luis Muriel (2) and Ruslan Malinovsyi. (OL-8)