Atalanta once again caused the football result public to mention himself when he boldly won Valencia with a score of 4-1 in the first leg of the round of 1/8 Champions League taking place on February 20 morning.
Atalanta continues to fly high after a strong victory over Valencia. Photo: AFP
Atalanta “engulfed” Valencia
Strikers Josip Ilicic and Papu Gomez were fighting at the beginning of Atalanta’s first knock out match in the Champions League. The team, nicknamed “Goddess”, must choose San Siro to host Valencia because Atleti Azzurri d’Italia is not eligible to organize.
Atalanta has a great advantage before the return leg. Photo: AFP
Coach Gian Piero Gasperini remained loyal to the 3-4-1-2 scheme when Colombian striker Duvan Zapata – who scored Atalanta’s first Champions League goal against Shakhtar Donetsk, was still on the bench due to not yet having physical fitness after 3 months of injury leave.
Valencia, meanwhile, still placed their hopes on captain midfielder Dani Parejo and young talent Ferran Torres with familiar pieces on the right flank. However, the team from Spain was really overwhelmed on the San Siro field at Atalanta’s fiery attacking play.
The expectations of the visitors, Parejo and Ferran Torres, suddenly became the weakest. Not only nearly disabled, Valencia’s right wing was constantly penetrated by the Italian team with skillful dribbles by captain Papu Gomez. One of such situations helped Atalanta to get an early football result in the 16th minute when Hans Hateboer easily scored after Gomez’s clean pass.
Valencia’s defense was shattered before Atalanta’s attack. Photo: AFP
Due to heavy pressure from the home team, Valencia’s defense had a crushing day with 3 more goalkeepers Jaume to the net to pick up the ball. First Ilicic’s strike (42 minutes), then the beautiful goal from the outside of Remo Freuler’s penalty area (57 minutes), before Hateboer completed the double to bring home a strong victory for Atalanta. “Goddess” once again showed the analogy of coach Pep Guardiola is not wrong when the strategist once complained after the match Man City was held at Atalanta in the group stage: “Playing at Atalanta seems to be like going to the dentist!”.
Meanwhile, Denis Cheryshev’s 1-4 shortening in the 81st minute only lit a fragile hope for Valencia in the second leg. However, despite missing some opportunities, the army of coach Albert Celades had to thank the god of luck for helping them to leave Milan with only 4 goals against Atalanta so well and exquisitely.
Coach Gasperini (center) is taking Atalanta to reach this historic milestone. Photo: AFP
Champions League final results: Atalanta 4-1 Valencia
Although this is the first time Atalanta played in the round of 16 Champions League teams, but not so that they fear Valencia. The home side actively took pressure from the first minute with a shot of Pasalic. He missed the opportunity when he faced the keeper after Josip Ilicic’s cross.
Atalanta continues to put pressure on Valencia, playing football with inspiration Papu Gomez, number 10 Argentinian. 16 minutes, he crosses the ball from the left to help Hateboer opened the scoring for Atalanta. The Valencia defense did not play fiercely.
Hans Hateboer scored twice against Valencia. Photo: Getty
The visitors behind the goal had reorganized the squad but the overall game was still Atalanta. 42 minutes, Josip Ilicic scored with a hammering shot into the upper left corner of the Valencia goal. Atalanta took a big advantage before entering the second half.
After the break, the initiative still belonged to Atalanta, they continued to have 2 consecutive goals from Freuler and Hateboer. The next goal came not long after, but this time it shortened the score to 4-1 for Valencia with Denis Cheryshev’s shot in the 67th minute.
Atalanta holds half of the ticket to the quarter-finals. Photo: Getty
Before the situation of Valencia playing all-hands and causing many dangers, Coach Gasperini made adjustments to personnel to reduce the pace of the match. Specifically, Atalanta no longer plays an intense attack since Papu Gomez was withdrawn from the pitch in thí Champions League match.
The calculation of the Italian coach about football result is very reasonable, this helps Atalanta preserve the score and get a big advantage before the return leg at Mestalla on March 11.