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Champions League recap: Atalanta no one-season wonder

Eye-catching wins away to Liverpool and Ajax helped Atalanta through as Group D runners-up.

Watch every Atalanta group stage goal
Watch every Atalanta group stage goal

Atalanta enjoyed a thrilling group stage debut in 2019/20 and this season have again proved that they belong at this elevated level.

UEFA.tv: group stage review

Campaign so far

Two-minute highlights: Liverpool 0-2 Atalanta
Two-minute highlights: Liverpool 0-2 Atalanta

Group D runners-up: W3 D2 L1 F10 A8
Top scorer: Duván Zapata (3)

21/10: Midtjylland 0-4 Atalanta (Zapata 26, Gómez 36, Muriel 42, Miranchuk 89)
27/10: Atalanta 2-2 Ajax (Zapata 54 60; Tadić 30pen, Traoré 38)
03/11: Atalanta 0-5 Liverpool (Jota 16 33 54, Salah 47, Mané 49)
25/11: Liverpool 0-2 Atalanta (Iličić 60, Gosens 64)
01/12: Atalanta 1-1 Midtjylland (Romero 79; Scholz 13)
09/12: Ajax 0-1 Atalanta (Muriel 85)

Their campaign in ten words: Win at Anfield was highlight of another entertaining qualification success.

UEFA.com reporter’s view

Five great Atalanta goals
Five great Atalanta goals

Atalanta have done it for the second year running! This time they won all three away games, becoming just the second Italian team to triumph at Anfield in the process. There were ups and downs, but a place in the last 16 is well deserved, with the likes of Duván Zapata and the now-departed Alejandro 'Papu' Gómez shining once more. The question is: can they now go beyond the last eight?
Vieri Capretta, Atalanta reporter

What we’ve learned

Atalanta are no one-season wonder. Their magical 2019/20 debut was not a one-off, as confirmed by the fact they have again qualified for the last 16 – with the aid of victories at Liverpool and Ajax, no less.

This campaign reaffirms one thing: Atalanta can beat anyone on their day. Teams struggle to live with their pace and, in Luis Muriel and Matteo Pessina, they have demonstrated they have options in a settled squad.

Squad changes

In: Joakim Maehle, Boško Šutalo
Out: Fabio Depaoli, Alejandro Gómez, Johan Mojica, Cristiano Piccini

Key stats

Highlights: Ajax 0-1 Atalanta (2 mins)
Highlights: Ajax 0-1 Atalanta (2 mins)

• Atalanta are only the third side since 2003/04 to progress to the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League in their first two seasons.

• Atalanta's 4-0 triumph at Midtjylland on Matchday 1 was their biggest win ever in the competition.

• Liverpool's 5-0 win at Atalanta was the biggest ever by an English club away to Italian opposition in European competition.

Who’s in charge?

Known for his attacking approach, Gian Piero Gasperini was made an honorary citizen of Bergamo in 2019 before guiding his swashbuckling outfit to the quarter-finals in their first ever UEFA Champions League tilt.