History-maker Atalanta continues Champions League bid at Monza – Barron’s

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History-maker Atalanta continues Champions League bid at Monza – Barron’s


Atalanta continued their Champions League bid with a hard-fought 2-1 victory at Monza on Sunday, after knocking Liverpool out of Europe.

Charles De Ketelaere’s header just before half-time and a superb finish from El Bilal Touré in the 72nd minute saw Atalanta move within a point of fifth-placed Roma, who will host fellow chasers Bologna of the Champions League, Monday evening.

A top-five finish in Serie A guarantees a place in next season’s Champions League thanks to the strong performances of Italian clubs in continental competitions.

Atalanta reached the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday on one of the biggest nights in the club’s history and played confidently at the U-Power Stadium despite Gian Piero Gasperini making a series of changes compared to the team that eliminated Liverpool.

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On Wednesday, Atalanta tries to overturn a 1-0 deficit in the second leg of its Italian Cup semifinal with Fiorentina, who won 2-0 at Salernitana, at the lowest point of the day, earlier during the day.

“We have to continue to improve,” Gasperini told DAZN.

“We have achieved fantastic results this season, but in terms of play and development we still have a lot to do.”

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None of Sunday’s scorers started in midweek, with Touré scoring his second goal of the season in his first start since signing from Atalanta in July.

Malian striker Touré became Atalanta’s record signing when he was bought for €30 million plus additions from Almeria.

But he was limited to substitute appearances after suffering a serious knee injury in August, and did not return to action until February.

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However, mid-table Monza almost snatched a point in the final when Daniele Maldini scored an impressive long-range effort in the 89th minute before seeing a similar effort from deep in stoppage time hit the inside of the post , roll painfully across the goal line and out of the goal. play.

“Obviously we didn’t learn anything. It happened in other matches this season and we lost points,” added Gasperini, whose team dropped two points last weekend against Verona after having taken a two-goal lead.

Lecce took a big step towards safety from relegation with a thumping 3-0 win at Sassuolo who risk losing their 11-year tenure as a top-flight club.

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Lecce are 13th, seven points above the bottom three after a second successive victory against direct rivals for the fall thanks to early goals from Valentin Gendrey and Patrick Dorgu and Roberto Piccoli’s 61st-minute strike.

On Monday evening, Inter Milan will attempt to win their 20th Serie A title by beating local rivals AC Milan in a highly anticipated local derby.

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