Atalanta came up with a somewhat surprising victory over Liverpool FC in their UEFA Champions League match at Anfield on Wednesday. The Italians scored twice in quick succession while keeping the Premier League champions at bay. The result throws the Group D qualification wide open.
Liverpool's evening was a complete disaster, as they failed to register even a single shot on target. The first half ended goalless but Liverpool was only able to hold on until midway through the second half. Atalanta's Josip Ilicic then scored in the 60th minute and Robin Gosens followed up just four minutes later to double the lead for the Italians.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp tried to turn the tide with four quick substitutions. He brought in Roberto Firmino, Diogo Jota, Andrew Robertson and Fabinho but they all failed to turn things around even with over half an hour left in the game The match ended 0-2 in favour of the visiting Italian side.
Mohamed Salah, Liverpool's star striker, has returned to the squad after recovering from COVID-19. He made little impact and failed to challenge Atalanta's defence. His only real chance came just before the half-time break, when he shot over the bar.
Despite the shock defeat, Liverpool remains at the top of Group D. They only need just one more victory against either Ajax and Midtjylland in their remaining group games to qualify. They were unable to secure their last-16 spot early, but the Reds still have a very good chance to advance.
Liverpool now tops the group with nine points from four games, while Ajax and Atalanta are tied with seven points each. Midtjylland meanwhile, has failed to secure a single point so far.
Champions League minnows Atalanta are proud of their historic win at Anfield. "Obviously this is something which will be written in the pages of history," said coach Gian Piero Gasperini, as quoted by the BBC. "This is perhaps our biggest ever victory in our history, certainly our most prestigious."