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Liverpool Ratings: Van Dijk Struggles as Atalanta Stun Reds

Van Dijk at Liverpool
© Ace Football

Liverpool endured a disappointing start to their Europa League quarterfinal, falling 3-0 to Atalanta in the first leg at Anfield.

A lackluster performance from the Reds saw them outplayed by a determined Atalanta side, leaving them with a mountain to climb in the return fixture.

The match began with Atalanta threatening early on, with Mario Pašalić denied by Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhín Kelleher. Despite a chance for Darwin Núñez to put Liverpool ahead, his effort went wide, highlighting the Reds’ early struggles.

Atalanta’s persistence paid off in the 38th minute when Davide Zappacosta’s cross found Gianluca Scamacca, whose shot deflected off Kelleher’s hands into the net. Liverpool’s goalkeeper redeemed himself with a crucial save shortly after to keep the deficit at 1-0 heading into halftime.

Liverpool showed signs of life in the second half, with Mohamed Salah forcing a save from Atalanta goalkeeper Juan Musso. However, Atalanta extended their lead to 2-0 as Scamacca calmly finished past Kelleher. Salah had a goal ruled out for offside before Atalanta sealed the win with a third goal from Pašalić.

Player Ratings:

  • Caoimhin Kelleher (4): Despite some key saves, Kelleher could have done better with Atalanta’s first goal.
  • Kostas Tsimikas (4): Caught out of position frequently, Tsimikas struggled defensively, leading to Atalanta’s chances.
  • Ibrahima Konaté (3): Konaté faced difficulties in defense and failed to keep up with Atalanta’s attackers, particularly Scamacca.
  • Virgil van Dijk (2): Van Dijk’s positioning allowed Atalanta opportunities, contributing to Liverpool’s defensive lapses.
  • Joe Gomez (3): Gomez struggled to coordinate with Konaté, leaving gaps in Liverpool’s defense, especially for Atalanta’s second goal.
  • Wataru Endo (5): Endo found it challenging to influence play and lacked creativity in midfield.
  • Alexis Mac Allister (5): Mac Allister had a quiet game in midfield, unable to assert his usual influence.
  • Curtis Jones (7): Jones showed promise in midfield and was unlucky not to provide an assist.
  • Cody Gakpo (8): Gakpo was a standout performer for Liverpool, showcasing his attacking skills and providing creative spark.
  • Darwin Núñez (4): Núñez struggled to make an impact and missed crucial chances for Liverpool.
  • Harvey Elliott (6): Elliott impressed with his efforts but was unfortunate not to score with his well-struck shot.


  • Andy Robertson (6): Robertson made a positive impact after coming on at halftime, contributing to Liverpool’s attacking play.
  • Mohamed Salah (6): Salah threatened Atalanta’s defense but had a goal ruled out for offside.
  • Dominik Szoboszlai (5): Szoboszlai provided width but had limited opportunities to influence the game.
  • Luis Díaz (5): Díaz showed glimpses of his attacking prowess but lacked the final ball.
  • Diogo Jota (5): Jota’s late introduction provided energy, but he had limited time to make an impact.

Despite the disappointing result, Liverpool will need to regroup and produce a much-improved performance in the second leg to overturn the deficit and progress in the Europa League.