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HomeEuropa LeagueScamacca strikes leave Liverpool on brink of European exit

Scamacca strikes leave Liverpool on brink of European exit

Liverpool’s hopes of reaching a European final in Jurgen Klopp’s final season suffered a serious setback after a shock 3-0 loss to Atalanta at Anfield.

The Italian side stunned the Europa League favourites with a ruthless performance on Merseyside, with former West Ham forward Gianluca Scamacca on target twice for the visitors.

The 25-year-old swept in an opener seven minutes before the break, as his tame finish squirmed under the grasp of Caoimhin Kelleher on a night of individual mistakes for Liverpool.

 

Atalanta pressed and harried Liverpool all evening in a man-to-man style and doubled their advantage on the hour. Scamacca was left unmarked in the centre and connected with Charles De Ketelaere’s cross with a sidefoot finish past Kelleher.

Liverpool lacked urgency and quality in their game and a nightmare evening went from bad to worse. Dominik Szoboszlai conceded possession in a dangerous area and Atalanta punished the Reds once again, as Mario Pasalic turned in a rebound from Ederson’s saved spot.

Earlier, the Merseysiders had missed chances with Darwin Nunez guilty of squandering the best opportunities, while Harvey Elliott hit the bar. Liverpool, however, failed to score for just the second time at Anfield this season.

“Obviously it’s not great. A very, very disappointing evening. Too many individual mistakes and we got punished for it. It feels bad,” Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk reflected to TNT Sports.

“With the man-marking system they do, we have to do much better. When we have the ball we have to do better and be much stronger. The spaces were open and they punished us immediately.

“A very disappointing night for all of us but we can’t dwell on it for too long. We need everyone to look forward to another big game. We have to switch back onto getting results.

“We were wide open. It’s more that we conceded the goals because we lost the ball in difficult areas. It hurts. But it can’t put us down. We have to react pretty quickly.

“It hurts of course. We haven’t lost here for a long time. But we shouldn’t take the credit away from them. They punished us for being sloppy in possession. We still had chances to score one or two and unfortunately we didn’t.

 

“If you don’t believe, there’s no point going to Italy. We have made it very hard for ourselves going there 3-0 down. But the way to bounce back is by winning the game on the weekend. We need everyone to switch it back on. Then we can focus on putting out at least four goals over there.”

Atalanta’s win ended a 34-game unbeaten run for Liverpool on home soil, with the Reds facing a huge task to turn around the tie next week. If this is to be Klopp’s final European game at Anfield, and it will take some comeback for it not to be, it might just be his worst one.

Read – ‘It’s not true’ – Amorim denies Liverpool links

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