Atalanta creates history after they cruise past Valencia


Valencia CF v Atalanta - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg

To lead Atalanta’s to a 4-3 Champions League round of 16 and a second-leg win over Valencia of which that completed an 8-4 aggregate victory at an empty Mestalla on Tuesday, Atalanta’s Josip Ilicic scored four goals in a stunning individual display.

With the visitors that are coming from a high-risk zone in the north of Italy, the Spanish side’s stadium had to be shut to supporters as part of measures to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Mouctar Diakhaby, Valencia defender who conceded two penalties in the first half, of which both converted by Ilicic were either side of Kevin Gameiro‘s equaliser.

valencia vs atlanta

Ferran Torres put Valencia ahead on the night and Gameiro headed home a second and but Slovenian playmaker Ilicic who completed his hat-trick had to then curl into a sumptuous fourth as his team reached the quarterfinals.

As they attempted to overturn a 4-1 first-leg defeat, thousands of Valencia fans gathered outside the stadium to welcome their team bus despite the fears surrounding the coronavirus.

A banner draped over empty seats inside reading, “Our hearts and souls are always in Mestalla,”.

Gameiro pounced put on a loose ball and slotted home to level but Gian Piero Gasperini’s Serie A side could not be repressed. The Spanish outfit Valencia started badly, with the hapless central defender Diakhaby bringing down Ilicic inside the second minute and the Slovenian converted from the penalty spot to give the visitors a dream start.

Dispatched by Ilicic, the Italians went back ahead two minutes before the break after Diakhaby handled in the area to concede another penalty.

Gameiro headed home Torres’s cross to level on the night after 51 minutes despite Remo Freuler crashed an effort against the crossbar for Atalanta.

Electric winger Torres who was recently linked with Barcelona by Spanish media had to be lobbed home to give the hosts some hope, but the sublime Ilicic wrapped up the tie with two classy finishes.