Free-scoring Manchester City have hit ten goals in winning their first three Group C games and now visit point-less Atalanta.
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Comfortably clear at the top of Group C, Manchester City will aim to make it four wins out of four – and clinch a place in the knockout stages – at Atalanta, whose debut UEFA Champions League campaign has featured three defeats to date.
• An 11-minute Raheem Sterling hat-trick – the third fastest in the competition's history – helped City to a 5-1 win at the City of Manchester Stadium on Matchday 3, Sergio Agüero having found the net twice in the first half as the English champions made it ten goals in their first three fixtures. Ruslan Malinovskyi's 28th-minute penalty, which briefly gave Atalanta the lead, was the first goal Josep Guardiola's side had conceded in the section.
• Atalanta suffered their heaviest loss in UEFA competition on Matchday 1, going down 4-0 at Dinamo Zagreb, before matching that four-goal margin of defeat at City last time out. On Matchday 2 they let slip a 1-0 lead against Shakhtar at San Siro in Milan, conceding five minutes into added time to lose 2-1.
• Those results have made it five European matches without a win for Atalanta (D2); Duván Zapata's strike against Shakhtar ended the club's three-game sequence without a goal.
• Before Matchday 1, the Italian club were unbeaten in seven matches in continental competition; they have still lost only four of their last 17 European games (W7 D6).
• This is Atalanta's 39th European match, and their seventh campaign in continental competition. They reached the European Cup Winners' Cup semi-finals in 1987/88 and the UEFA Cup quarter-finals three years later.
• Third in Serie A in 2018/19, their highest ever finish, and Coppa Italia runners-up, this is Atalanta's third successive European campaign. They came through the UEFA Europa League group stage in 2017/18, losing to Borussia Dortmund in the round of 32 (2-3 a, 1-1 h), and were beaten 4-3 on penalties by Copenhagen in the play-offs of the same competition in 2018/19 after the tie had finished goalless; Atalanta had earlier eliminated Sarajevo (10-2 aggregate) and Hapoel Haifa (6-1).
• In that 2017/18 campaign, Atalanta played their only previous fixtures against an English club, beating Everton 3-0 at home and 5-1 away. Andrea Masiello and Alejandro Gómez scored in the home game in Reggio Emilia and Robin Gosens was on target in the success on Merseyside.
• Before losing to Shakhtar on Matchday 2, Atalanta were unbeaten in 12 European home matches (W6 D6), since a 2-1 defeat against Belgian side Mechelen in the 1987/88 European Cup Winners' Cup semi-final second leg (2-4 aggregate). Those are their only defeats in their 18 home European matches (W10 D6).
• Atalanta are the only team to be making their group stage debut in 2019/20 – they are the tenth Italian club to feature and the 141st overall.
• This season, City have also won 3-0 at Shakhtar and 2-0 at home to Dinamo, Matchday 3 taking their tally of goals scored to 24 in their last seven UEFA Champions League matches. Since losing at home to Lyon on Matchday 1 last season (1-2) their record is W10 D1 L1 with 39 goals scored and 11 conceded.
• In 2018/19, City recovered from that defeat at home to Lyon to finish first in Group F ahead of the French club, Shakhtar and Hoffenheim, picking up 13 points. They brushed aside Schalke 10-2 on aggregate in the last 16, but for the second year running lost to English opposition in the quarter-finals, Tottenham eliminating them on away goals after a dramatic 4-4 aggregate draw (0-1 a, 4-3 h).
• Guardiola's side have won 11 of their last 18 European matches, home and away – losing six. Away from home it is five wins in eight matches (D1 L2), both defeats coming in England; the last game they lost abroad was at Shakhtar (1-2) on Matchday 6 of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League.
• This is the Citizens' ninth UEFA Champions League campaign; they have been involved in the group stage every season since 2011/12 and have reached the round of 16 or better in the last six campaigns.
• This is the fifth time City have been drawn in the same UEFA Champions League group as an Italian club; most recently, in 2017/18, they beat Napoli home (2-1) and away (4-2). That result in Naples was their second victory in three trips to Italy, where they had failed to win on their first four visits (D2 L2).
• Matchday 3 made it four City successes in their last 11 meetings with Italian clubs, home and away (D4 L3).
• City's best UEFA Champions League performance was reaching the 2015/16 semi-finals.
• Champions of England for the second season running and sixth overall – four of those titles having come in the last eight years – City also lifted the FA Cup and League Cup in 2018/19, becoming the first English club to win all three domestic trophies in one season.
Links and trivia
• Guardiola played in Italy for Atalanta's arch rivals Brescia (2001/02, 2003) and Roma (2002/03).
• Have played in England:
Marten de Roon (Middlesbrough 2016–17)
Pierluigi Gollini (Manchester United 2012–14, Aston Villa 2016/17)
• De Roon scored an added-time equaliser in Middlesbrough's 1-1 Premier League draw at City on 5 November 2016.
• Mario Pašalić is on loan at Atalanta from Chelsea. He joined the London club in July 2014 but has never featured for the first team.
• Has played in Italy:
João Cancelo (Internazionale 2017/18 (loan), Juventus 2018/19)
• International team-mates:
Timothy Castagne & Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium)
Alejandro Gómez & Nicolás Otamendi, Sergio Agüero (Argentina)
Ruslan Malinovskyi & Oleksandr Zinchenko (Ukraine)
• Atalanta had a pre-season tour to England this summer, playing friendlies against Premier League clubs Norwich (4-1) and Leicester (1-2).
• Five days after shipping five goals at City, Atalanta equalled their biggest ever win in Serie A with a 7-1 victory over Udinese, matching their scoreline against Triestina in June 1952.
• Luis Muriel scored his first Atalanta hat-trick against Udinese, making it five goals in two league matches having struck twice against Lazio on 19 October. With eight goals in total, he is just three short of his record for a Serie A season of 11, set with Udinese in 2012/13 and Sampdoria four years later.
• The goals against Udinese were Muriel's first at home for Atalanta; his previous five had all come away.
• Debutant Amad Traoré was also on target against Udinese, the 17-year-old becoming the first player born in 2002 to score in Serie A.
• On 30 October goals from Remo Freuler – his first of the season – and Josip Iličić earned Atalanta a 2-2 draw at Napoli.
• On Sunday Atalanta failed to score for the first time in Serie A this season, going down 2-0 at home to Cagliari – their third home loss of the season in all competitions (W2 D1). Iličić was sent off in the 39th minute, shortly after Mario Pašalić had opened the scoring for the visitors with an own goal.
• Atalanta still have the best attack in Serie A with 30 goals from 11 games. They had scored two or more goals in every league match before the weekend, and had found the net in 16 successive Serie A games.
• Duván Zapata, who has scored six goals in seven Serie A games this season, has been out since suffering a thigh injury while on international duty with Colombia on 12 October.
• Atalanta signed Martin Škrtel on 9 August, but his contract was cancelled by mutual consent three weeks later.
• On 9 September Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini was made an honorary citizen of Bergamo.
• Sergio Agüero made his 100th appearance in UEFA club competition on Matchday 3; he has scored 61 goals.
• Bernardo Silva is on 49 European matches.
• On Saturday, City came from a goal down to beat Southampton 2-1 at home, Kyle Walker scoring an 86th-minute winner – his first Premier League goal since 1 September 2018.
• City have won ten of their last 11 matches in all competitions, including the last five since a 2-0 defeat at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers on 6 October. Thatt was their first home defeat without scoring since March 2016, and ended a run of scoring in 29 successive Premier League games.
• City have suffered only two defeats in their last 25 matches in all competitions (W21 D2).
• Kevin De Bruyne has provided nine assists in this season's Premier League.
• English League Cup winners in the last two seasons, and four of the last six campaigns, City reached this season's quarter-finals with a 3-1 home win against Southampton on 29 October. They will visit third division Oxford in the last eight in the week commencing 16 December.
• City were 8-0 winners at home to Watford in the Premier League on 21 September, their biggest win in the English top flight. They led 5-0 after 18 minutes, the fastest any side has established that scoreline in a Premier League match.
• Agüero found the net in City's first six league games of the season, eight goals in all, but had not scored in four before firing the equaliser on Saturday – his ninth goal in this season's Premier League with just his tenth shot on target.
• Despite that scoreless run, Agüero nevertheless has five goals in his last four City matches in all competitions.
• Josep Guardiola's side have scored 51 goals in their 17 matches this season, and 34 in their 11 league matches.
• Raheem Sterling has scored 13 goals in 15 club games this season, and has 17 goals and eight assists in 19 games for City and England in 2019/20.
• Oleksandr Zinchenko has not played since 14 October and has undergone knee surgery that is expected to sideline him for up to six weeks.
• Rodri limped off shortly before half-time against Atalanta on Matchday 3 with a hamstring problem and has not played since.
• Aymeric Laporte damaged the cartilage and lateral meniscus in his right knee during a 4-0 home win against Brighton on 31 August and is expected to be sidelined for around six months.
• Leroy Sané is also facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury to his right knee during the FA Community Shield against Liverpool on 4 August.
• City won the Community Shield for the sixth time overall – and second year in a row – with a 5-4 shoot-out defeat of Liverpool at Wembley, Sterling scoring City's goal in a 1-1 draw.