Europa League | Liverpool eliminated as Atalanta book semifinal place with 3-1 aggregate win


Atalanta pose for a team group photo after defeating Liverpool in the quarterfinal of the Europa League on April 18, 2024
| Photo Credit: Reuters

Atalanta progressed to the Europa League semifinals despite losing 1-0 to Liverpool on Thursday as they triumphed 3-1 on aggregate to move one step closer to a first ever European final for the Serie A side.

Atalanta had stunned the Premier League club 3-0 in the first leg of their quarterfinal last week at Anfield, levelling another huge blow to Liverpool’s dreams of a fairytale ending in manager Juergen Klopp’s final season.

Liverpool got off to a quick start in Italy as talisman Mohammed Salah scored from the penalty spot in the seventh minute, fuelling hope that a remarkable comeback was in the making.

But while Klopp’s men looked little like the shaky side who were steamrolled by Atalanta at Anfield, Gian Piero Gasperini’s team held on in what the manager had called the biggest game in the team’s history to earn a semifinal place.

Leverkusen better West Ham to reach semis

Newly-crowned Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen reached the semifinals too but almost lost their season-long unbeaten record as they drew 1-1 away at West Ham United for a 3-1 aggregate victory on Thursday.

Xavi Alonso’s side trailed to Michail Antonio’s early header and were far below their usual high standards in the first half as the hosts carved out several more chances.

Leverkusen, who clinched their first German title at the weekend, improved dramatically after the break and squandered numerous opportunities before substitute Jeremie Frimpong’s shot deflected past Lukasz Fabianski in the 89th minute.

Despite being below their best, Leverkusen extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 39 games and they are still on course for a treble

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