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Sunday May 19, 2024

Major upset: Liverpool stunned 0-3 by Atalanta in Europa League clash

Atalanta break Liverpool's 33-game unbeaten run with a 0-3 defeat in in Europa League clash

By Web Desk
April 12, 2024
Atalanta Hand Liverpool shocking 3-0 defeat at Anfield. (Mario Pasalic (L) celebrates after scoring Atalantas third goal in their stunning win over Liverpool at Anfield. — AFP)
Atalanta Hand Liverpool shocking 3-0 defeat at Anfield. (Mario Pasalic (L) celebrates after scoring Atalanta's third goal in their stunning win over Liverpool at Anfield. — AFP) 

Liverpool's Europa League journey took a hit as they were defeated 3-0 by Atalanta at home in the first leg of their quarter-final tie.

Jurgen Klopp's men, missing key players like Salah initially, were frustrated upfront despite Elliott nearly breaking the deadlock.

The match started with Liverpool's key players, Mohamed Salah and Dominik Szoboszlai, on the bench. Harvey Elliott nearly opened the scoring for Liverpool, but his shot hit the bar and bounced off the post.

Atalanta took control seven minutes before half-time. Davide Zappacosta's pass from the right was converted into a goal by former West Ham striker Gianluca Scamacca. Scamacca doubled the lead on the hour mark, thanks to Charles De Ketelaere's assist.

Even with Salah's introduction, Liverpool couldn't find a way back in. Salah, who was brought on at the start of the second half, had a goal disallowed for offside.

Atalanta sealed their victory with a third goal seven minutes from time. After Caoimhin Kelleher failed to hold onto a shot by Ederson, Mario Pasalic, a former Chelsea player, scored.

The defeat ended Liverpool's 33-game unbeaten run at home. "They punished us for being sloppy in possession," said Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk. "This will definitely hurt tonight and then from tomorrow we need to switch it back on to get a result."

Despite the setback, Liverpool can take solace from their 5-0 victory over Atalanta in Bergamo during the 2020/21 Champions League group stage.

Elsewhere, Bayer Leverkusen continued their remarkable season with a 2-0 victory over West Ham. Late goals from substitutes Jonas Hofmann and Victor Boniface secured the win for Xabi Alonso's side.

"We have a chance on Sunday -- if we win, we're champions. We need to step on the gas and it would be something very special to achieve," Alonso said.

Leverkusen, who are on the verge of winning their first Bundesliga title, will face either AC Milan or Roma in the semi-final if they overcome West Ham.

Other Europa League ties saw close contests. Roma edged out rivals AC Milan 1-0 thanks to Mancini's header, while Benfica took a 2-1 lead over Marseille despite Aubameyang's goal for the French side.