Liverpool 0-3 Atalanta: Reds left with mountain to climb in Bergamo after Scamacca brace dents title hopes

Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool were comprehensively dismantled by Atalanta at Anfield on Thursday night, leaving the Reds with plenty of work to do in Bergamo next week if they’re to overcome the deficit and reach the final four.

Thursday’s hosts had long been viewed as favourites to lift the UEFA Europa League title in Dublin come the end of the season, with hotel prices hitting all-time highs as hoteliers awaited their visit – but rooms have flooded back onto the market and costs have plummeted after a dishevelled 0-3 defeat.

Gianluca Scamacca opened the scoring in the first half, before the ex-West Ham United forward completed his brace shortly after the hour mark. Mario Pasalic completed the rout with mere minutes of regulation time remaining, adding the finishing touch to a top-class performance that Liverpool came nowhere near to matching.

The performance has already been criticised by some – including ex-Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock – as Liverpool’s worst under Klopp’s leadership, which dates back to 2015. The German manager will depart the club this summer, and he’ll now be hoping for an Origi-esque comeback in Bergamo.

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As it happened

Atalanta haven’t exactly set the Italian Serie A alight this season. Gianpiero Gasperini’s side sit sixth in the league standings, more than thirty points adrift of the top of the table – but they were seized their chances in Merseyside when the hosts failed to do so.

On a night that also saw West Ham defeated in Europe by the seemingly unbeatable Bayer Leverkusen, it was a former Hammers forward that kickstarted the destruction of Liverpudlian dreams. Gianluca Scammaca, whose stay in East London lasted just a year, opened the scoring in the first half, sneaking a low effort under Caoimhin Kelleher.

Liverpool did not lack chances – they mustered up more than their Italian counterparts, in fact. Creating chances was futile though, with Darwin Núñez, Harvey Elliott and Mo Salah all squandering golden opportunities throughout the match.

Teun Koopmeiners should have added Atalanta’s second had it not been for a fine save from Kelleher, but the Republic of Ireland goalkeeper could do nothing when the unmarked Scamacca completed his brace on the hour mark.

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Kelleher would do well to parry away a fierce effort from Ederson within the final ten minutes of Thursday’s first-leg meeting, but Mario Pasalic was on hand to slam home the rebound and ensure that Liverpool must score at least four goals in Bergamo next week.

Liverpol’s first home loss since February 2023 is a result that plunges Jürgen Klopp’s hopes of a silverware-laden campaign into further doubt. Arsenal remain in pole position to claim the Premier League, and this looks set to be another cup elimination after an agonising defeat to Manchester United.

The lineups

LIV: Kelleher; Tsimikas, van Dijk, Konaté, Gomez; Jones, Endo, Mac Allister; Gakpo, Núñez, Salah

ATA: Musso; de Roon, Hien, Djimsiti; Ruggeri, Palisic, Ederson, Zappacosta; Koopmeiners; Scamacca, de Ketelaere