Liverpool left red-faced after thumping by Atalanta at Anfield

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Liverpool left red-faced after thumping by Atalanta at Anfield

Atalanta's Mario Pasalic scores the team's third goal
Atalanta's Mario Pasalic scores the team's third goal AFP
Atalanta stunned the footballing world with a 3-0 victory at Anfield in their UEFA Europa League quarter-final first leg tie with Liverpool, stretching their remarkable unbeaten away run in this competition to 11 matches.

European nights and Anfield go hand-in-hand, but despite the famous atmosphere so often associated with nights like these, the Kop was almost stunned into silence inside five minutes.

Harvey Elliott was caught napping in his own half and after Gianluca Scamacca cut the ball back to the unmarked Mario Pasalic, a point-blank save from the face of Caoimhin Kelleher kept the scores level.

Perhaps that earlier error gave Elliott the kick he needed as he was soon involved at the other end, curling a sumptuous effort that hit the post and bar before bouncing away to safety.

To Atalanta’s credit, they weren’t thrown off by growing Liverpool pressure and were giving as good as they got.

Atalanta's Italian forward Gianluca Scamacca celebrates scoring the opening goal
Atalanta's Italian forward Gianluca Scamacca celebrates scoring the opening goalAFP

The Italian outfit eventually reaped the rewards of that too shortly before the break, as Davide Zappacosta freed himself down the right and found Scamacca in the area, and although his effort was tame, it squirmed beneath the usually reliable Kelleher.

Undeterred by his earlier error, the Reds stopper bailed them out seconds before the whistle blew when Teun Koopmeiners was afforded the freedom of Anfield in behind the defence, but Kelleher stood tall to repel his dinked effort.

Having clearly seen enough, Jurgen Klopp made a triple change at HT, and the introduction of Mo Salah almost paid immediate dividends when his thunderous half-volley was beaten away from close range by Juan Musso.

He must’ve thought the game was swinging in their favour from there, but an Atalanta sucker-punch left them with an uphill battle, as the unmarked Scamacca powered home Charles De Ketelaere’s delivery.

Mario Pasalic, left, celebrates scoring the team's third goal
Mario Pasalic, left, celebrates scoring the team's third goalAFP

That didn’t spark much of a response from Liverpool, who were nothing short of dreadful throughout - a sentiment supported by an animated Klopp on the touchline.

Such was their luck this evening, even when Salah did eventually ripple the net, the linesman’s flag cut short his celebrations. And to add insult to injury, Atalanta added a third late on when Pasalic tapped home from close range following Kelleher’s initial save.

Match stats
Match statsOpta by Stats Perform

Taking a three-goal lead back to Bergamo was something no one predicted prior to kick-off, but Atalanta have rained on Klopp’s parade in his swansong season and left the Reds staring down the barrel of elimination.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Gianluca Scamacca (Atalanta)

Catch up on the match stats with Flashscore

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