Atalanta dedicate Champions League win to people of Bergamo

Atalanta celebrate beating Valencia
Atalanta are the first Champions League debutant to reach the quarter-finals since Leicester City in 2016-17 and the first Italian side to do so since Lazio in the 1999-00 campaign

Atalanta dedicated their Champions League win in Valencia to "a territory that is suffering so much".

Italy extended emergency coronavirus measures, including travel restrictions and a ban on public gatherings, to the entire country on Monday.

"We are very happy for what this result represents," manager Gian Piero Gasperini said after beating the Spanish side 8-4 on aggregate.

"We will have a big party in June for this and this danger we will beat."

Atalanta are based in Bergamo in the Lombardy region of northern Italy, one of the worst-hit areas in the country. Italy had registered more than 9,000 cases of coronavirus on Tuesday.

It is the worst-affected country after China, where the virus originated.

"We know that many people followed us at home, who cannot go out to celebrate," Gasperini said.

"This is for the people of Bergamo. We have also received many messages from the director of the Bergamo hospital."

'They gave us two hours of joy'

Atalanta v Valencia
Atalanta forward Josip Ilicic became the fourth different player in Champions League history to score four goals in a knockout-stage match

The match at the Mestalla Stadium in Valencia was played behind closed doors but some Atalanta fans travelled to watch in bars in the city.

"For us it is something extraordinary," said Luca Percassi, Atalanta's managing director.

"At a very particular moment for Bergamo, Lombardy and Italy as a club we can only say thanks to the players and staff because they gave us two hours of joy.

"We know the value of football in such difficult moments as the one we are facing."

Atalanta are into the quarter-finals of the Champions League at the first time but have asked fans not to gather at the airport to welcome the players home.

"For the purpose of safeguarding public health, Atalanta invites all people not to create gatherings in the centre of Bergamo," the club said.

fans outside the Mestalla
Fans of both clubs gathered outside the stadium before and during the game

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