Atalanta beat Liverpool in the opening leg of the Europa League quarterfinals

April 12, 2024
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Atalanta defeated tournament favorites Liverpool 3-0 in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final at Anfield on Thursday night.

Atalanta beat Liverpool in the opening leg of the Europa League quarterfinals

Gianluca Scamacca scored twice for the visitors, while Mario Pasalic also scored, putting the Italians in a strong position to go to the competition’s semi-finals, with the two teams due to face off again next week.

Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher denied Pasalic in the third minute, using his face to make the save.

Darwin Nunez was the next to try his luck in an end-to-end start, but his fourth-minute shot was saved by Atalanta goalkeeper Juan Musso.

Alexis MacAllister then sent one over the crossbar in the fifth minute, before Nunez missed the target in the 15th minute after being set up by Curtis Jones.

Harvey Elliott came perilously close to breaking the breakthrough in the 26th minute, with his curling effort from a wide angle bouncing off the crossbar in a big missed opportunity for Atalanta.

Liverpool were in control of the game, but Atalanta seized the lead in the 38th minute through Scamacca, who hushed Anfield with a low finish beneath Kelleher after receiving a cross from Davide Zappacosta.

Teun Koopmeiners came close to doubling the away side’s lead in the last minutes of the first period, but his effort was saved by Kelleher, and the referee blew the whistle at 1-0 for Atalanta.

Atalanta overcame the Reds at the Anfield

Liverpool dominated possession in the first 45 minutes, with 68% of the ball, but wasted opportunities were the story, as they have been in recent weeks.

Dominik Szoboszlai and Mohamed Salah were both introduced for the Reds at halftime, and the home side had a bright start to the second half.

Virgil van Dijk’s header went wide in the 52nd minute, but Atalanta remained dangerous on the break, with Koopmeiners forcing Kelleher into another brilliant stop in the 54th minute.

Musso made two brilliant saves in quick succession to deny Salah less than a minute later, and Nunez sent another shot over the crossbar just before the hour.

Atalanta increased their lead immediately after the hour mark, with Scamacca scoring his second of the game, putting a first-time finish past Kelleher after being found by Charles De Ketelaere.

Koopmeiners just missed the target in the 65th minute as the Italians looked for a third, while Joe Gomez missed the target down the other end in the 71st minute.

Atalanta made it 3-0 in the 83rd minute, with Pasalic scoring from close range after Kelleher denied Ederson.

Musso made another fine save to deny Luis Diaz in the 85th minute, before Diogo Jota and Salah each missed the target in the 89th minute at Anfield, leaving Liverpool with a mountain to climb if they are to advance to the Europa League semi-finals.

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