Atalanta moved up to fifth place in Serie A after winning its sixth game in the last seven. The rise under coach Gian Piero Gasperini is even more astonishing given that it started the season so badly, losing four of its first five. At that point, president Antonio Percassi could have shown Gasperini the door; after all, that’s what happened to him at Inter Milan in 2011, when he only lasted five games. (Inter have been up to its same tricks already this season, sacking Frank de Boer last week after the grand total of 13 games).
Instead, Pecassi backed his man, and then the results turned around.
Gasperini played a young side against Napoli, and the team won 1-0. Since then, it has beaten Inter (2-1, Gasperini's fourth straight win against his former side), Pescara (1-0), Genoa (3-0) and Sunday, Sassuolo 3-0. Atalanta has a tradition of developing fantastic youth talent–including Gaetano Scirea, Roberto Donadoni, Andrea Pirlo and Riccardo Montolivo–and only last week the coach said he was happy to continue using that model.