Conor Clancy Date: 6th January 2018 at 8:38pm
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Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini was full of praise for his players after their hard-fought 2-1 win over Roma at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday evening.

Following a midweek win over Napoli in the Coppa Italia by the same scoreline, Gasperini was beaming with pride as his side managed to achieve another unlikely victory on the road.

“At this moment, the guys have got character, good fitness and great belief in themselves,” he told Mediaset Premium after the game. “They wanted to follow up the Coppa Italia victory over Napoli and we achieved an extraordinary result.

“There have been real shows of maturity and conviction in our own capabilities. We respect all our opponents, but also know that if the game goes in a certain direction, we can get the result with our determination and technique.

“If we can start to pick up the points we deserve at home and against smaller sides too, then we can really put ourselves in a good situation.”

Atalanta had dominated the first half but following Marten de Roon’s dismissal – which subsequently saw Gasperini sent to the stands too for dissent – they were forced to cling on for the entirety of the second.

“It was definitely a game of two halves,” Gasperini added.

“We dominated the first half and in the second were forced to defend when down to 10 men.”

Aleksandar Kolarov appeared to wink at his teammates after De Roon was judged to have fouled him in the incident that saw the Duthman dismissed, which angered the coach.

“I won’t get into the red card situation, because I already heard some things.

“Kolarov winked at his teammates afterwards, what do you think that meant?”