Gasperini: ‘Doesn’t hurt to dream’

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Gian Piero Gasperini insists the Champions League is “not our objective,” but Atalanta won’t hold back after a 4-1 thrashing of Bologna.

The Orobici had the win wrapped up within 15 minutes thanks to a Josip Ilicic brace, Hans Hateboer and Duvan Zapata, taking them to within a point of Milan and the Champions League berth.

“We started in extraordinary fashion and scored four splendid goals in just 15 minutes, very different to the way we approached the game with Chievo,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“That draw really hurt and we didn’t want to get it wrong again. Having said that, doing this well was beyond our expectations.”

Now that Atalanta are just one point off fourth place, can they genuinely be called contenders for the Champions League spot?

“It is not our objective. We play the way we know how and there are many games to go, so before talking like that we’d have to wait a few more weeks.

“Many are hoping. We’re happy just to get back into Europe, maybe even via the Coppa Italia, which is also an important target for us. We’ll see what happens. It doesn’t hurt to dream.”

Duvan Zapata is suspended for Sunday’s showdown with third-place Inter, as he was booked for handball on a disallowed goal.

“I was about to substitute Zapata and just waiting for the ball to go out of play, when he received that yellow card for an instinctive gesture. He’ll miss Inter and that is an unfortunate inconvenience.”

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