Atalanta's dream debut continues with a last-16 tie against Valencia, seeking a first quarter-final appearance since 2007.
Article top media content
Atalanta's UEFA Champions League debut continues with a round of 16 tie against Valencia, who are bidding to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in 13 years.
• The Italian side go into the first leg against their Spanish opponents – the sides' first fixture – having finished second in Group C behind Manchester City.
• Valencia, meanwhile, finished first in Group H to reach the round of 16 for the first time since 2012/13, and the fourth overall.
• Atalanta picked up seven points in the group stage to qualify as Group C runners-up, seven behind Manchester City and one ahead of Shakhtar Donetsk. The Italian club picked up only one point from their first four games and have suffered their two heaviest European defeats this season, losing 4-0 away to Dinamo Zagreb on Matchday 1 before a 5-1 loss at Manchester City in their second away game.
• Atalanta also conceded two late goals to lose 2-1 at home to Shakhtar on Matchday 2 before getting their first point on the board with a 1-1 draw at home to City in their fourth fixture. They then picked up their first win in the competition with a 2-0 defeat of Dinamo in Milan and snatched a place in the last 16 thanks to a 3-0 win at Shakhtar on Matchday 6.
• The victory against Dinamo ended Atalanta's six-match winless run in Europe (D3 L3). The success at Shakhtar made it two consecutive European victories; they have won three matches in a row only once before, in last season's UEFA Europa League qualifying phase.
• Before Matchday 1, the Italian club were unbeaten in seven matches in continental competition; they have still lost only four of their last 20 European games (W9 D7).
• This is Atalanta's 42nd 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).
• The loss to Shakhtar on Matchday 2 is Atalanta's sole defeat in 15 European home matches (W7 D7), 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 20 home European matches (W11 D7).
• Atalanta were the only team to make their group stage debut in 2019/20 – they were the tenth Italian club to feature and the 141st overall – and are one of two round of 16 debutants along with Germany's RB Leipzig.
• This is Atalanta's first UEFA match against a Spanish club.
• Valencia finished level with Chelsea on 11 points in Group H, going through as section winners thanks to a superior head-to-head record against the English club (1-0 a, 2-2 h). They picked up seven of their points away from home, winning 1-0 at last season's semi-finalists Ajax on Matchday 6 to secure progress; their remaining four points came from French side LOSC Lille (1-1 a, 4-1 h) with their only defeat a 3-0 loss at home to Ajax in their second game.
• The wins at Chelsea and Ajax this season are Valencia's only successes in their last eight UEFA Champions League away matches (D3 L3); however, they have won five of their last 12 (D4 L3).
• Valencia have scored only four goals in their last eight away UEFA Champions League matches and have not scored more than once in any of their last 12, qualifying included.
• Fourth in the Spanish Liga in 2018/19, this is Valencia's 12th UEFA Champions League campaign. Finalists in both 1999/2000 and 2000/01, this is the first time they have reached the last 16 since 2012/13.
• Twelve months ago Los Blanquinegros finished third in their section behind Juventus and Manchester United to move into the UEFA Europa League. There they overcame Celtic (3-0 on aggregate), Krasnodar (3-2) and Villarreal (5-1) to reach the semi-finals, where they came up short against Arsenal, losing 3-1 in London and 4-2 at home.
• Valencia's record in two-legged ties against Italian clubs is W2 L4, although they won the most recent contest, beating Internazionale Milano on away goals at this stage of the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League (2-2 a, 0-0 h).
• The Spanish side were beaten home (0-2) and away (0-1) by Juventus in 2018/19, stretching their run without a win against Italian opposition in the UEFA Champions League to five games (D2 L3) since a 2-1 home victory against Roma in September 2006. Last season's defeat at Juve made it seven losses in their 12 games away to Serie A sides (W2 D3).
• This is Valencia's fourth last-16 tie in the UEFA Champions League (W1 L2), most recently losing to Paris Saint-Germain in 2012/13 (1-2 h, 1-1 a). That 2007 defeat of Inter is their sole success at this stage of the competition, although having drawn both legs of that contest they are still awaiting their first victory in a round of 16 match (D4 L2).
• Valencia lost the 2001 UEFA Champions League final on penalties to Bayern München at Milan's San Siro, the venue for this game. Their record at the stadium against Italian hosts is D3 L1, all against Inter.
Links and trivia
• Have played in Spain:
Guilherme Arana (Sevilla 2017–19)
Luis Muriel (Granada 2010–11, Sevilla 2017–18)
• Have played in Italy:
Cristiano Piccini (Fiorentina 2010–15, Carrarese 2011/12 (loan), Spezia 2012/13 (loan), Livorno 2013/14 (loan))
Geoffrey Kondogbia (Inter 2015–17)
Alessandro Florenzi (Roma 2002–20, Crotone 2011/12 (loan))
• Florenzi's record against Atalanta with Roma was W3 D5 L3. He scored in a 3-3 draw on 27 August 2018.
• Kondogbia's first Inter appearance was a 1-0 home win against Atalanta on 23 August 2015.
• International team-mates:
Marten de Roon, Hans Hateboer & Jasper Cillessen (Netherlands)
Mattia Caldara, Pierluigi Gollini & Alessandro Florenzi (Italy)