Coronavirus: Atalanta boss Gasperini put people at risk – Valencia 'surprised' by revelation

By Sports Desk May 31, 2020

Valencia expressed their "surprise" at Gian Piero Gasperini's revelation that he suffered coronavirus symptoms during the Champions League last-16 tie, insisting the Atalanta head coach put people at risk.

Gasperini revealed over the weekend he was scared while appearing to suffer from COVID-19 as Atalanta defeated Valencia 4-3 behind closed doors in the Champions League on March 10.

Atalanta advanced to the Champions League quarter-finals 8-4 on aggregate at the Mestalla before the 2019-20 football season was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In light of Gasperini's comments, LaLiga outfit Valencia released a statement, which read: "Valencia CF wish to publicly express our surprise at comments made by Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini which appeared in the Italian press this Sunday, stating that, both the day before and the day of the match played on March 10th at Mestalla, the coach of our opposing team in the UEFA Champions League last-16 game was aware of suffering symptoms theoretically compatible with those of coronavirus, without taking preventive measures. Such actions, if this was the case, would have put at risk numerous people during the trip to – and stay in – Valencia.

"It should be remembered that this game was held behind closed doors amidst strict safety measures, on the order of the Spanish health authorities, to prevent the risk of COVID-19 contagion, precisely due to the presence of persons from an area already publicly classified as 'at risk' at that time."

LaLiga and Serie A have been suspended since March but the two leagues are preparing to return following the COVID-19 crisis.

The Seville derby between Sevilla and Real Betis will headline LaLiga's return on June 11 in Spain.

Italy's Serie A, meanwhile, is scheduled to restart on June 20.

Related items

  • Sarri ignoring criticism as Juventus chase trophies Sarri ignoring criticism as Juventus chase trophies

    Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri insisted he was unworried about criticism as his team continue to chase trophies this season.

    Ahead of a trip to Sassuolo on Wednesday, Juve are six points clear atop Serie A with six games left to play, and also in the Champions League last 16.

    Sarri, who has lost the Coppa Italia final and Supercoppa Italiana this season, has faced some criticism, but the Juventus coach is not bothered.

    "Honestly, I don't pay much attention to criticism, I always try to be focused only on what I can do," he told a news conference.

    "I don't know what people say on social media because I'm not on them and I will never be in my life.

    "If we talk instead of people in the streets, I only receive support and affection."

    Juventus are winless in their past two games and needed a pair of penalties from Cristiano Ronaldo to draw with Atalanta last time out.

    Sarri was asked about his side's lack of goals from midfield, but he has no concerns about their firepower, although Ronaldo (seven) and Paulo Dybala (four) have netted the majority of their goals in the past six games.

    "We scored 17 goals in the last six matches and I'm not concerned about our scoring ratio frankly," he said.

    "We all know that among our midfielders [Aaron] Ramsey is the one that can potentially score more goals considering his individual characteristics.

    "Then we have two players that are growing a lot and in the future, I'm sure they will score more like [Rodrigo] Bentancur and [Adrien] Rabiot."

  • Championship: Wigan score eight against feeble Hull, West Brom falter Championship: Wigan score eight against feeble Hull, West Brom falter

    Wigan Athletic humiliated Hull City 8-0 as the Championship relegation battle took an extraordinary twist - while West Brom might be wobbling near the top.

    Kieran Dowell hit a hat-trick for Wigan, who remarkably led Hull 7-0 at half-time. Wigan sit in mid-table but are fighting for survival in the second tier because of an administration penalty hanging over the club, and this result was a huge step towards safety.

    West Brom have looked on track for automatic promotion for weeks, but a slip in form from Slaven Bilic's men could see Brentford pip them at the post.

    Second-placed West Brom could only draw 0-0 at home against fourth-placed Fulham, meaning Brentford can close to within a point of the Baggies with two rounds of games remaining should they beat Preston North End on Wednesday.

    WONDER AT WIGAN

    Wigan were the talk of English football after their first-half seven-goal show.

    The only saving grace for Hull, and frustration for Wigan, was that no supporters were present to witness one of the most eye-catching results in English football all season.

    Wigan savagely picked apart the free-falling Tigers and climbed to 13th place in the division.

    They became the first team to score seven or more goals in one half of a match in either the Premier League or the three tiers of the EFL since Watford came from 2-0 down to beat Blackpool 7-2 with a second-half flurry in January 2015.

    Aside from Dowell's treble, Kieffer Moore netted twice and there were goals for Kal Naismith, who set the ball rolling in the first minute, Jamal Lowe and Joe Williams.

    Wigan stand to receive a 12-point punishment for entering administration, a troubling development that followed a recent takeover of the club, but they are fighting to avoid that meaning relegation.

    The win neatly moved them 12 points clear of Hull, who sit 22nd and are a point adrift of safety, with the Tigers having a suddenly vastly inferior goal difference to Wigan.

    BAGGIES BLOWING IT?

    West Brom and Leeds have been trading first place in the Championship, but there could be a surprise in the promotion shake-up.

    By failing to find a way through Fulham's defence, West Brom's hold on second place has become increasingly tenuous, given fast-finishing Brentford are on a seven-game winning streak.

    Fulham's Anthony Knockaert hit the bar in the second half at the Hawthorns, where the outcome could have been even worse for West Brom.

    Cardiff City kept a grip on sixth place as goals from Junior Hoilett and Lee Tomlin earned a 2-1 home win over Derby County.

    Just outside the play-offs, Millwall sit seventh after a 1-0 home win over Blackburn Rovers, Mason Bennett with the only goal.

    WARNOCK DELIVERS

    Ashley Fletcher and Patrick Roberts scored for Middlesbrough in a 2-1 win at Reading that carried Neil Warnock's side five points clear of the bottom three.

    Liam Moore had put the hosts ahead before Boro, who appointed veteran manager Warnock as Jonathan Woodgate's replacement last month, turned it around.

    Among those worse off than Boro, Huddersfield Town picked up a useful point in a 0-0 draw at Sheffield Wednesday, while second-bottom Luton Town were held 1-1 at home by QPR.

  • Coronavirus: Kings forward Harrison Barnes tests positive for COVID-19 Coronavirus: Kings forward Harrison Barnes tests positive for COVID-19

    The Sacramento Kings' slim playoff chances may have taken a hit after Harrison Barnes tested positive for coronavirus before his team left for the NBA's restart in Florida.

    Barnes said he has been primarily asymptomatic and is doing well.

    The eighth-year forward hopes to join the Kings at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando when it is safe to do so.

    Barnes has averaged 14.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists in a team-high 34.9 minutes per game this season. He was the only player to start all 64 games for Sacramento before the NBA suspended play on March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    The Kings (28-36) are 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. They have eight seeding games remaining to move into ninth place and within four games of the eighth seed to force a play-in tournament.

    That would result in Sacramento having to win two head-to-head matchups to take over the number eight spot.

    The Kings have not been to the playoffs since the 2005-06 season, the longest active streak in the NBA and longest in franchise history.

    On Monday, Kings forward Richaun Holmes said he was under a mandatory 10-day quarantine after he left the resort over the weekend to pick up some food.

    Holmes, who is averaging a career-best 12.8 points and team-high 8.3 rebounds, should be ready to join the Kings before they restart their season against the San Antonio Spurs on July 31.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.