Dublin dream over for Liverpool


Photo: Stephen Gormley (Red Eye Photo Agency)

Liverpool’s hopes of reaching the UEFA Europa League Final in Dublin in May evaporated as they failed to overcome their mountainous 3-0 first leg defeat.

Liverpool needed a minor miracle to get through against Atalanta after the devastating shock 3-0 defeat at home last week. However they got off to the perfect start with an early goal after just seven minutes to give them a fighting chance. Mo Salah slotted home a penalty following a hand ball in the box to give The Reds early belief.

Liverpool were living dangerously as they tried to reduce the deficit further. Allison had to make a point blank save and an Atalanta goal was chopped off following a close offside call.

Salah then had a glorious chance to double the score on the night when he was put through on goal in the 38th minute. However the keeper came rushing out and the Egyptian striker lobbed it over him and watched as the ball went two feet wide of the goal.

Atalanta seemed to gain confidence from the miss. They went into the half time break 1-0 down but most importantly still 3-1 up on aggregate.

Atalanta managed to get a stronger grip on the midfield in the second half and their man-marking system and physical presence troubled Liverpool. Nunez, Jota and Danns came on with 20 minutes to go for Liverpool but it had little impact and Atalanta continued to control the game.

Atalanta move on to the semi finals of the Europa League where they will take on Marseille, who won 4-2 against Benfica on aggregate.

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