Liverpool 0 – 3 Atlanta – The Postmortem

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Breaking Down Liverpool’s Woeful Defeat to Atalanta

This was a game that every Liverpool fan hoped would see a return to winning and goal scoring form, especially after the very disappointing 2-2 draw at Old Trafford on Sunday. The goals most certainly came under the Anfield lights, however, it was not at all in the fashion that was hoped before kick-off.

Below is how the team lined up, with match details following.

Liverpool’s Starting Eleven:

Caoimhin Kelleher, Joe Gomez, Ibrahima Konaté, Virgil van Dijk (c), Kostas Tsimikas, Alexis Mac Allister, Wataru Endō, Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott, Darwin Núñez, Cody Gakpo

Subs – Mohamed Salah – Harvey Elliott (45 mins), Andy Robertson – Kostas Tsimikas (45 mins), Dominik Szoboszlai – Curtis Jones (45 mins), Luis Díaz – Darwin Núñez (60 mins), Diogo Jota – Wataru Endō (76 mins)

Photo: IMAGO

Goals

Liverpool 0 – 1 Atalanta – Gianluca Scamacca (Davide Zappacosta) – 38 mins

Liverpool 0 – 2 Atalanta – Gianluca Scamacca (Charles De Ketelaere) – 61 mins

Liverpool 0 – 3 Atalanta – Mario Pasalic – 83 mins

Important Match Stats

Possession – Liverpool 70% – 30% Atalanta

Total Shots – Liverpool 18 – 11 Atalanta

Crosses – Liverpool 16 – 11 Atalanta

Corner Kicks – Liverpool 4 – 2 Atalanta

Counter Attacks – Liverpool 3 – 2 Atalanta

Goalkeeper Saves – Liverpool 4 – 4 Atalanta

The First Half

The opening period of this game was an open end to end battle, with both sides struggling to find rhythm. Two very good opportunities arose for Darwin, however, neither were taken or came even close to affecting the 0-0 score line. Harvey Elliott had a wonderful shot denied by the bar and the post, as chances were largely limited in a frustrating first half display.

Photo: IMAGO

At the other end, Caoimhin Kelleher produced a couple of great saves either side of the Atalanta goal, which was a culmination of poor tracking by Kostas and some indecisive defensive work by Virgil. After the disheartening performance from the weekends game against Manchester United, this game demanded changes, though the lack of cohesion was very apparent with a raft of poor first half showings.

The half ended with the reds trailing 0-1 and to be fair to the Italians, it probably should have been a larger deficit. That correction would soon be adjusted.

The Second Half

On resumption of the second half, three changes were made as the reds looked to alter the trajectory of the encounter. The urgency was slightly increased, yet the open nature of the game continued to offer up counter attacking opportunities to the visitors. Despite some more vigour, it was Atalanta who scored the next goal, with a simple bit of play and a deep cross finding an unmarked Gianluca Scamacca free in the box and able to drive a low shot into the net for his second goal.

With alterations to the side only adding to the poor game state of the reds, defeat found despair and 0-3 was the next change to the extraordinary score line. With a complete lack of tracking and control in almost the entirety of the home team, Atalanta found what could be the tie winning goal late on, with the Anfield giants as bemused as the shocked support.

The game ended (thankfully) with a bucket load of questions primed for a shell-shocked manager. This was the type of game which led to the much-needed regeneration and must now act as a catalyst for what occurs in the forthcoming Premier League fixtures.

Final Thoughts

This was a game that should have seen an elite level team bay away a lesser team that was out of form. Arrogant performances and a lack of urgency was apparent almost immediately and it looks like the European journey of the 2023/24 season is now at an end.

Pre-game prediction

Liverpool 5 – 1 Atalanta

Steven Smith

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