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Referee: Hategan O. (Rou)
Venue: Gewiss Stadium (Bergamo)
In-form Diogo Jota scored a terrific hat-trick as Liverpool made a big Champions League statement of intent with a stunning win at Atalanta.Jurgen Klopp's side have won all three Group D games without conceding a goal, and victory in one of their remaining fixtures should be enough to take them through to the knockout stages.
Portugal international Jota showed why he was given a start ahead of Roberto Firmino by scoring for a fourth consecutive game, dinking in a delightful opener before doubling the lead with a thumping strike at the near post.
He completed his triple in the second period, collecting Sadio Mane's pass before going round goalkeeper Marco Sportiello and slotting into an open net.In between Jota's third, the Reds netted two quick-fire goals at the start of the second half as Mohamed Salah took full advantage of an exposed backline to run clear and curl home and Mane clipped in the fourth.
The Serie A side had sniffs of goal, but Duvan Zapata's strike from the angle hit the post, while two efforts from Luis Muriel were comfortable for goalkeeper Alisson to deal with.In the group's other game, Dutch side Ajax picked up their first of the campaign by beating Midtjylland 2-1, as the Danish team remain bottom of the group and without a point.
Atalanta are unbeaten after two matches in their second-ever UEFA Champions League (UCL) group stage (W1, D1). A 4-0 thumping in the first match was followed by a two-goal comeback to salvage a draw on the second matchday. They possess a good record against English teams in major European competitions so far (W2, D1, L1).
Last season saw seven of Atalanta’s nine matches in this tournament feature over 2.5 total goals (3.89 average). At home, they had mixed results in last season’s UCL (W2, D1, L1) with a lower goal average (3.0), and they have won just one of three at home in all competitions this season (W1, D1, L1 - goal average of 5.0 per match).
Liverpool, meanwhile, have major defensive absences, and will fear Atalanta’s offensive power having conceded 1.83 goals on average across their last six competitive matches (W4, D1, L1). Still, the ‘Reds’ have four straight wins in all competitions, including two wins while keeping a clean sheet in the UCL.
Currently on a three-match winning run away from home in the UCL group stage, Liverpool have nonetheless lost in three straight visits to italian clubs in European competitions. They’ve won three of their last five away fixtures in all competitions, and goals have been flowing (5.0 on average per match) with Liverpool conceding 2+ goals in three of the five.
Players to watch: Duván Zapata has three goals across Atalanta’s first two UCL matches, netting his team’s first goal in both.
Meanwhile, Diogo Jota has scored a second-half goal in three straight Liverpool matches (in all competitions).
Hot stat: All eight of Atalanta’s competitive matches this season have featured over 2.5 total goals.
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Category: Football | Added: 03/11/2020 | Views: 198
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