Liverpool’s Disappointing Loss to Atalanta 0-3, Leverkusen’s Victory Over West Ham

Liverpool faced a significant setback in their quest to reach the Europa League final in Jurgen Klopp’s farewell season.

While Bayer Leverkusen defeated West Ham United to continue in unblemished record this season, Liverpool’s dreams of winning the Europa League were left hanging in the balance after they fell 3-0 at home to Atalanta in the first leg of their quarterfinal meeting on Thursday.

Liverpool’s Disappointing Loss to Atalanta 0-3, Leverkusen’s Victory Over West Ham

Liverpool want to use this season’s Europa League final in Dublin on May 22 as their farewell match before managing director Jurgen Klopp retires, but they will need to overcome a formidable Atalanta team in order to save their last-eight tie.

Harvey Elliott came agonizingly close to opening the score for Liverpool, who started with Dominik Szoboszlai and Mohamed Salah among the substitutes, with a shot that touched the bar and the post on its way out.

Just seven minutes before halftime, former West Ham striker Gianluca Scamacca gave Atalanta the lead with a first-time goal off of Davide Zappacosta’s low ball in from the right.

Charles De Ketelaere’s pass allowed the same player to finish well, making it 2-0 on the hour. After Salah entered the game at the beginning of the second half, Atalanta made it 3-0 with seven minutes remaining after Salah’s goal was disallowed for offside.

Ederson’s shot was mishandled by Caoimhin Kelleher, and Mario Pasalic, a former Chelsea player who never appeared in a first-team match, scored from close range.

The incredible triumph for the sixth-place team in Serie A ends Liverpool’s 33-game home unbeaten streak. “We haven’t lost here in a long time, so it hurts,” Virgil van Dijk, the captain of Liverpool, remarked. “They punished us for being sloppy in possession.”This will undoubtedly hurt tonight, and in order to see results, we must turn it back on tomorrow.”

Given that Klopp’s team defeated Atalanta 5-0 on the road in Bergamo during the Champions League group stage in 2020–21—a season in which they also suffered a loss at Anfield—it appears that there is still hope for the team.

In Germany, Leverkusen, the incoming Bundesliga winners, defeated West Ham 2-0 to take control of their quarterfinal match, going 42 games without losing in any competition this season.

For Xabi Alonso’s team, Jonas Hofmann and Victor Boniface both scored late goals—the first in the 83rd minute and the second in injury time—after coming off the bench.

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Victories for Roma, Benifca

Leverkusen, who are 16 points ahead of Bayern Munich in Germany and can win their first Bundesliga title by defeating Werder Bremen at home on Sunday, is having another successful week.

“The anticipation is huge — it couldn’t be bigger,” Alonso said to reporters. “On Sunday, we have a chance; if we prevail, we become champions. We must accelerate, and accomplishing this would be very remarkable,” he remarked.

Leverkusen will play either AC Milan or Roma in the semifinals if they defeat West Ham. On Thursday, the two teams faced off in the first leg of their quarterfinal match at San Siro.

On the night, Roma defeated their Serie A rivals 1-0 thanks to a header from a corner in the 17th minute by Gianluca Mancini. Last weekend, Mancini had also scored the game-winning goal in the Rome derby against Lazio.

“We’re having a terrific evening. This week has exceeded my expectations beyond measure, Mancini said to broadcaster Rai.

Benfica defeated Marseille 2-1 in Lisbon during the first leg of their quarterfinal match on Thursday. The Portuguese team took the lead thanks to goals from Rafa Silva and Angel Di Maria before the interval, but Marseille has optimism for the rematch next week thanks to a goal from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang halfway through the second half.

With 10 goals in 10 games this season, Aubameyang is the all-time leading scorer in the Europa League.

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