Atalanta manager Gian Piero Gasperini could not hide his utter shock and dismay as his side crashed out of the Champions League at the hands of French Champions, Paris Saint Germain on the night of Wednesday, 12th August,2020 at Estadio de Luz in Portugal.
It was indeed a bitter pill for Gasperini to swallow as his side were punished for a momentary loss of concentration.
Atalanta were the first team to score through influential midfielder Mario Pasalic in the 26th minute of the Champions league quarter final match.
The game which in itself was highly tensed recorded as many as nine players picking up yellow cards; Djimsiti, Freuler, Martin de Roon, Duvan Zapata, Toloi, Palomino for Atalanta as Juan Bernat, Ander Herrera and Paredes were booked for PSG.
With Thomas Tuchel parading a strong attacking machinery in the persons of Pablo Sarabia, Neymar and Mauro Icardi, it was clear that PSG were in for business even without star man Kylian Mpabbe, who started from the bench due to fitness issues.
The PSG attack however could not live up to expectation as the equalising goal had to come from the hardworking midfielder Marquinhos before Cameroonian international and former Stoke City striker, Eric Maxim Chopou-Moting settled issues in the 93rd minute.
This was the first time ever in the history of Atalanta as they reached the quarter finals of the UEFA champions league just like PSG who also progressed to the semi-finals for the first time since the 1994-95 campaign.
“The satisfaction remains that we had a great Champions league campaign, constantly improving against the best teams in Europe. I can only thank the lads for all they’ve done this season” said Gasperini who also managed Crotone (2003-2006), Palermo (2012-2013) and Genoa(2006-2010 & 2013-2016).
“We are very disappointed, as we felt that we were almost in the semi-finals” Gasperini said.