Having picked up their first UEFA Champions League point, Atalanta now need a first win as Dinamo Zagreb visit.
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Having picked up their first UEFA Champions League point, Atalanta now need their maiden victory to stay in Group C contention – although they face a Dinamo Zagreb side who gave them a harsh introduction to the competition on Matchday 1.
• Atalanta's debut ended in a 4-0 defeat in Zagreb, Mislav Oršić hitting a hat-trick after Marin Leovac's early opener as Dinamo ended an 11-match losing streak in the UEFA Champions League group stage in considerable style.
• After losing their next two matches, Atalanta belatedly picked up their first point on Matchday 4, but nevertheless trail both Dinamo and Shakhtar Donetsk by four points, with Manchester City top of the table on ten. Atalanta will therefore be unable to finish in the top two if they do not beat Dinamo, or if Shakhtar win at City. Atalanta will be confirmed in fourth place if they lose, or if they draw and Shakhtar avoid defeat.
• Dinamo will be unable to finish in the top two if they lose to Atalanta and Shakhtar beat City.
• The sides' only previous fixtures before this season came in the 1990/91 UEFA Cup first round, a tie Atalanta won on away goals. After a goalless first leg in Bergamo, Zvonimir Boban gave Dinamo a 54th-minute lead in Zagreb, but an Evair penalty equaliser five minutes later ultimately took Atalanta through in what were their only other games against a club from Croatia.
• That Matchday 1 defeat in Zagreb was Atalanta's heaviest loss in UEFA competition, although the margin was matched by a 5-1 loss at Manchester City in their second away game. They have fared better in their home fixtures, played at San Siro in Milan; only two late Shakhtar goals denied them a point on Matchday 2, before they held City to a 1-1 draw last time out to get off the mark.
• Those results have made it six European matches without a win for Atalanta (D3 L3).
• Before Matchday 1, the Italian club were unbeaten in seven matches in continental competition; they have still lost only four of their last 18 European games (W7 D7).
• This is Atalanta's 40th 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 14 European home matches (W6 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 19 home European matches (W10 D7).
• 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.
• Oršić's hat-trick against Atalanta made him the first player to hit three goals for a Croatian club in a UEFA Champions League group encounter.
• Having lost 2-0 at Manchester City in their second game, Dinamo then drew 2-2 at Shakhtar and 3-3 at home to the Ukrainian side – Shakhtar scoring twice in added time to deny Dinamo victory – to stay level on points with the Donetsk club but with an inferior head-to-head away goals record.
• Dinamo have won only five of their 40 matches in the UEFA Champions League group stage (D7 L28); they suffered six defeats in their most recent participation, in 2016/17. They had lost 11 successive matches, and won only one of 27 (D2 L24) – a 2-1 defeat of Arsenal in Zagreb in September 2015 that ended a 16-year wait for a victory in the competition proper – before beating Atalanta on Matchday 1.
• The 2-0 loss at City on Matchday 2 was Dinamo's 13th successive away defeat in the UEFA Champions League group stage, since a 2-2 draw at Marseille on 2 November 1999 – a run of defeats that was ended at Shakhtar.
• Dinamo have nevertheless won five of their last 12 European away matches (D4 L3).
• Dinamo claimed their 13th Croatian league title in 14 seasons in 2018/19 – and 20th in all – but their UEFA Champions League campaign came to an early end with a play-off defeat against Young Boys. Moving into the UEFA Europa League, the Zagreb club finished first in their section before getting the better of Viktoria Plzeň in the round of 32, then bowing out after extra time against Benfica in the last 16 (1-0 h, 0-3 a).
• Nenad Bjelica's side started this season's UEFA Champions League in the second qualifying round, easing past Georgia's Saburtalo 5-0 on aggregate (2-0 a, 3-0 h) before a 5-1 victory over two games against Ferencváros of Hungary (1-1 h, 4-0 a). They then overcame Rosenborg in the play-offs, winning 2-0 at home before a 1-1 draw in Norway.
• The Zagreb club had lost three games in a row against Italian clubs before beating Atalanta; their four victories against Serie A sides have all come in Zagreb. They have lost eight of their ten away games (D2).
• This is Dinamo's seventh UEFA Champions League group campaign overall, and fifth in nine seasons. They have failed to qualify from the group stage in all six previous attempts. In fact, 2018/19 marked the first time in 14 UEFA club competition group stage campaigns – including eight in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League – that the Croatian club had made it through to the next phase.
Links and trivia
• Dinamo Zagreb coach Bjelica was in charge of Spezia from July 2014 to November 2015.
• Atalanta's Croatian midfielder Mario Pašalić started his career with Hajduk Split, scoring twice against Dinamo on 14 September 2013 aged 18. He scored 11 goals in 32 league appearances for Hajduk over two seasons.
• Have played in Italy:
Bruno Petković (Catania 2013–16, Varese 2014 (loan), Reggiana 2015 (loan), Entella 2015 (loan), Trapani 2016, Bologna 2017, Verona 2018 (loan))
Mislav Oršić (Spezia 2013/14)
Mario Šitum (Spezia 2014–16)
• International team-mates:
Remo Freuler & François Moubandje, Mario Gavranović (Switzerland)
Josip Iličić & Petar Stojanović (Slovenia)
• Have played together:
Berat Djimsiti & Mario Gavranović (Zürich 2012–16)
Remo Freuler & Izet Hajrović (Grasshoppers 2010–11)
• After earning their first ever UEFA Champions League point on Matchday 4, Atalanta were held to a 0-0 draw at Sampdoria in Serie A, a game they finished with ten men after Ruslan Malinovskyi's red card.
• That meant Atalanta had failed to score for two consecutive Serie A games after the 2-0 home defeat against Cagliari on 3 November.
• Atalanta did find the net on Saturday, but went down 3-1 at home to Juventus.
• Atalanta had scored two or more goals in every league match in 2019/20, and had found the net in 16 successive Serie A games, before drawing a blank against Cagliari.
• Atalanta still have the best attack in Serie A with 31 goals from 13 games.
• On 27 October Atalanta equalled their biggest ever win in Serie A with a 7-1 victory over Udinese, matching their scoreline against Triestina in June 1952. They have not won since then (D3 L2).
• 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.
• Midfielder Remo Freuler missed Switzerland's recent games against Georgia and Gibraltar with a thigh injury, but recovered to play 85 minutes for Atalanta at the weekend.
• Simon Kjær captained Denmark in the 1-1 draw against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin on 18 November that secured the visitors' qualification for UEFA EURO 2020.
• Goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini made his Italy debut as a late substitute in the 3-0 win away to Bosnia and Herzegovina on 15 November.
• A Josip Iličić goal was not enough to prevent Slovenia losing 3-2 in Poland on 19 November.
• On 9 September Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini was made an honorary citizen of Bergamo.
• Petar Stojanović made his 50th appearance in UEFA club competition on Matchday 4.
• Dinamo were 5-0 winners at Rijeka on 10 November, Mislav Oršić scoring his third hat-trick of the season.
• Dinamo's six-match winning run in the league, stretching back to a 1-0 loss at Varaždin in the eighth round of matches on 21 September, was ended by a 1-1 draw at home to Hajduk Split on Friday.
• The loss to Varaždin was Dinamo's second league defeat of the season, as many as they suffered in the whole of 2018/19.
• Defender Dino Perić made his Croatia debut in a 3-1 UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying win against Slovakia on 16 November.
• Three days later, Oršić made his first start, and won his third cap, in Croatia's 2-1 friendly defeat of Georgia.
• Luka Ivanušec, who scored his first two Dinamo goals against Shakhtar and Rijeka, was also on target in Croatia's 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifiers against Lithuania (3-1) and the Czech Republic (1-2).
• Dani Olmo marked his Spain debut with a goal in a 7-0 UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying win at home to Malta on 15 November, finding the net just three minutes after coming off the bench.
• Bruno Petković helped Croatia qualify for next summer's EURO with a goal in the 3-1 victory against Slovakia on 16 November.
• Dinamo captain Arijan Ademi was out between 10 and 22 October due to an ankle problem; he featured against Shakhtar on Matchdays 3 and 4 but has not played since the latter match on 6 November.
• Amer Gojak has not played since suffering an ankle injury against Osijek on 27 October, when he was withdrawn early in the first half.
• Oršić has 16 goals in 22 appearances in all competitions for Dinamo this season, including 12 in his last 12 matches.
• Dinamo kicked off the new season with a 1-0 win against Rijeka in the Croatian Super Cup on 13 July.