Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini has expressed his delight at his sides 3-0 Champions League victory over Shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukraine on Wednesday evening.
La Dea went in to the clash at the bottom of Group C with only four points from there opening five games and faced an uphill struggle to qualify for the knockout stages. Gasperini’s men knew that their only route to the second round was to get all three points in Donetsk and rely on Manchester City to beat Dinamo Zagreb.
“I’m really happy for the boys, for the club, for the fans and for the city of Bergamo,” Gasperini said. “We went through a good start with so many opportunities but then Shakhtar came back at us.”
“In the second-half, knowing the result of City, we gave everything to win and the first goal unlocked the game.”
The victory, along with Manchester City’s 4-1 win in Zagreb, was enough to see La Dea qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League in their first ever appearance in the competition.
They became the third Italian team to reach the knockout stages alongside Napoli and Juventus whilst Inter were the only Serie A team to exit the competition at the group stage.