Atalanta thrash Valencia at Champions League campaign

first_imgSAN SIRO: Atalanta continued their dream debut Champions League campaign on Wednesday with a 4-1 win over Valencia in an entertaining last-16 first leg meeting at San Siro.Gian Piero Gasperini’s Serie A side raced into a two-goal lead by halftime with goals from Hans Hateboer and Josip Ilicic, while Valencia were denied by the post.Remo Freuler’s curling strike and a second goal for Hateboer looked to have ended the tie as a contest, but substitute Denis Cheryshev gave the Spanish visitors a faint glimmer of hope with an away goal.Two-time runners-up Valencia will host the Serie A side at the Mestalla Stadium in the return leg on March 10.Atalanta qualified for Europe’s top club competition for the first time with a surprise third-place finish in Serie A last season, which was achieved despite having the 14th-highest wage budget in the division.Playing their home games at Milan’s San Siro after their own Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia failed to meet UEFA standards, they got off to a nightmare start by losing their opening three group games, conceding 11 goals in the process.But a home draw with Manchester City followed by wins over Dinamo Zagreb and Shakhtar Donetsk was enough to send them to the knockout stages.More than 45,000 fans travelled to Milan for Wednesday’s game, 51 kilometres away from Atalanta’s hometown of Bergamo, which has a population of just 120,000 people. Agencies Also Read: Atalanta Go Third, Calhanoglu Keeps AC Milan In Champions League ChaseAlso Watch: AJYCP members form human chain across Assam to protest against CAA 2019last_img

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