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UEFA Europa League

Atalanta's route to UEFA Europa League final 2023-24

Published at :May 21, 2024 at 6:55 PM
Modified at :May 21, 2024 at 6:55 PM
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Novojyoti Bhattacharjee

It’s the first time La Dea have reached the finals and they have everything it takes to win

A final showdown in the UEFA Europa League will take place between Atalanta and Bayer Leverkusen, who haven’t lost a match in the competition. The battle will take place between two masterminds who have taken their sides to the final stage after a series of long journeys in which they have battled against the best sides. A history-making showdown will take place in Dublin’s Aviva Stadium as either team will have a chance to make their mark. 

Having overcome a lot of obstacles to reach the final showdown, Atalanta have the chance to win the first silverware in their history since 1963. Their journey has been nothing short of sensational as they have defeated some of the best teams in Europe. By winning this crucial final, they can secure their place in the Champions League next season. In Serie A, La Dea is currently fifth, where they have two matches to secure automatic qualification. If the matches go poorly, the club can still qualify for the Europa League next season with a fifth place finish. 

If La Dea wins this prestigious trophy, they will not only become a part of history but also have the opportunity to compete in the UEFA Super Cup with the winner going against one of the world’s elite powerhouses, Real Madrid or Dortmund. Getting a direct seeding in pot 1 of the Champions League next year will also give them a major advantage in the Champions League. As long as they finish in the top five of their domestic league, they will qualify automatically. 

Let’s now take a look at how Atalanta booked their place in the final of the UEFA Europa League 2023-24 against Bayer Leverkusen:

Group Stage: Winner of Group D

Antalanta were placed in a group with Portuguese giants Sporting, Austrian minnows Sturm Graz, and Polish outfit Raków Częstochowa. In these six matches, La Dea scored 12 goals and conceded just 4 goals to boast an +8 goal difference. They topped the group with 14 points by winning four matches and drawing two others. Only Sturm Graz and Sporting managed to draw them. 

Round of 16: Yet another defeat for Sporting

It was advantageous for Altanta to not participate in the round of 32 because a change in format prevented them from participating. The winner of the group stage gets a direct entry into the round of 16.

Gasperini’s team fought hard away from Sporting in the first leg to secure a hard-fought 1-1 draw, giving them the chance in the second leg to beat them 2-1 thanks to Lookman and Scamacca to secure a 2-1 win, securing their place in the quarter-final with a aggregate score of 3-2.

Quarter-Finals- Liverpool were stunned by the La Dea

While Liverpool were hot favourites, the Italian underdogs knew that they have all the tools to break their unbeaten record at Anfield. Atalanta demolished the Reds at home to secure a 3-0 win so that half of the tie was in their hands.

As a result of Gasperini’s mastermind in Anfield, Klopp and Co were stunned by the outcome. In the second leg, Liverpool took control after Salah scored a penalty within 7 minutes. While Atalanta lost the match by 0-1 overall, they progressed 3-1 on aggregate by preventing their opponents from scoring further goals.

Also Read: How many trophies have Atalanta BC won in their history?

Semi-Final: Marseille were completely outclassed

A tricky first leg in the Orange Vélodrome saw Atalanta open the scoring through Scamacca in the opening 11th minute but they could not resist the lead as Mbemba levelled the score at the break. Both sides did not take the risk in the second half, resulting in a 1-1 draw.

Atalanta completely outclassed Marseille in the final leg to win the tie 4-1 on aggregate, marking their first appearance since 1963 that the italian side have reached a Europa League final.

Will Atalanta create history by winning their first trophy since 1963? 

Gian Piero Gasperini has the opportunity to write La Dea’s history in the UEFA Europa League final showdown at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland.

Will his side be the first to defeat the Invincibles Bayer Leverkusen in the much awaited match? The stage is set for either side to put their place in the history of the game if Xabi’s side win the tie, they will go down as the only side to remain unbeaten throughout the campaign or will Atalanta mark another chapter in their history by bringing the pride to their home soil? 

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