Atalanta eased into the Champions League quarter-finals as Josip Ilicic hit four goals against Valencia

Valencia 3-4 Atalanta (4-8 Agg.)

Atalanta eased into the Champions League quarter-finals as Josip Ilicic hit four goals against Valencia, in the first match of the competition to be played behind closed doors because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Italians arrived in Spain with a commanding 4-1 lead from the first leg of their last-16 tie and quickly added to their advantage inside an eerie Mestalla Stadium.

With the chants of a large gathering of home supporters outside the ground clearly audible, Slovenia forward Ilicic converted a third-minute penalty for the Serie A side after he had been fouled by Valencia defender Mouctar Diakhaby.

A second Gameiro goal, this time from a close-range header, levelled the score on the night before Ferran Torres‘ lobbed effort put the La Liga side in front.

However, Ilicic‘s rasping left-foot drive from 20 yards restored Atalanta’s three-goal aggregate lead as he became the first Slovenian player to score a Champions League hat-trick.

Ilicic‘s fourth, a left-foot effort into the top left corner, rounded off an 8-4 aggregate win on a fine evening for Gian Piero Gasperini’s side, who have now scored 28 goals in their last seven games and become the competition’s first debutants to reach the last eight since Leicester City in 2016-17.

Highlights:

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.