'This is a scandal!' - Atalanta boss Gasperini furious with missed penalty call in Coppa Italia final loss

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Gasperini Atalanta Lazio Coppa Italia
The Italian club's boss was incensed that his side were left to rue a missed call that could have changed the outcome despite the availability of VAR

Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini vented his frustrations at officials following his side's 2-0 loss to Lazio in the Coppa Italia final on Wednesday, claiming that a missed handball call very well could have changed the game.  

Lazio scored twice late on, with Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Joaquin Correa both finding the net in the final 10 minutes to seal the win.  

But it was a moment much earlier in the match that had Gasperini irate following the contest.  

Marten de Roon's shot 25 minutes in appeared to deflect off the hand of Lazio defender Bastos, who had been shown a yellow card just a minute earlier for a sloppy challenge.  

The shot still hit the woodwork despite the deflection, and the manager was quick to call out referee Luca Banti and his team for getting the call wrong.  

“This is very serious. That was going into the goal, it was clearly deflected," he said post-match. "I didn’t like Banti throughout the game, but this incident is absolutely worthy of a VAR review. 

“This completely changes everything that had been done during the season in Serie A. It is very serious. It’s unjustifiable. It is unacceptable. 

“We accept the defeat, Lazio are a very good team, it was a balanced game, but no this incident is absolutely unacceptable. I wasn’t angry before I saw that replay, as from the bench I absolutely didn’t see that. 

“My players told me there was a hand, but I thought it was one of those handballs that saw some absurd penalties given during the season, but this was far worse. It’s very clear.

Ilicic Atalanta Lazio Coppa Italia

“Maybe we wouldn’t have won anyway, but it’s really ugly to see this. It’s ugly. This was a very balanced game decided late on and a penalty, not to mention Bastos was already on a yellow card before that, it changes the game. 

“We played this Coppa Final with 21,000 fans following us. It shows no respect at all for the Atalanta supporters. We saw all season that penalties were given for absurd touches, but this is far worse than many that were awarded. 

“If there hadn’t been VAR, then that’s understandable, but no, this is unjustifiable.” 

He continued to vent his frustrations in his post-match press conference, saying that moments like this dent the credibility of VAR and seemingly calling into question the legitimacy of the competition in Italian football as a whole.  

“It is a shocking incident and shameful to do this to Atalanta," he said. "This takes away credibility from VAR. It’s also a bad sign for Italian football. It’s incomprehensible, as of course the same clubs keep winning. 

“Are we meant to only use VAR when it’s handy? It was a penalty and a red card. This is a scandal! Tell me why it happened? Give me some justification, if you can? 

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“It might not have been seen by the referee, and indeed I didn’t see it either, but the VAR? I want those officials in the booth to come here and explain to me what they saw! 

“The only possible explanation is they had a blackout and couldn’t see the screen. Either that or they just closed their eyes and looked the other way. 

“It changes the game! It would’ve been 11 against 10 just 25 minutes in with a penalty… You’re taking 21,000 people for a ride. You’re making fun of them!”