Champions League: Dinamo Zagreb Falls to Atalanta in Italy (2:0)

Daniela Rogulj

November 26, 2019 – Dinamo Zagreb met Atalanta in Bergamo, Italy on Tuesday for the penultimate game of the Champions League group stage. 

Dinamo Zagreb played their fifth round of the Champions League group stage against Atalanta at the legendary Giuseppe Meazza Stadium at 9 pm. 

The calculations were clear before the match – a point was enough for Dinamo to secure at least a third place in the group, that is, for their second consecutive European spring. 

Dinamo was without the suspended Nikola Moro on Tuesday, though the good news was that captain Arian Ademi, Mario Gavranovic, and Amer Gojak returned to the squad.  Coach Nenad Bjelica thus went out with Livakovic, Theophile, Dilaver, Peric, Stojanovic, Leovac, Ademi, Ivanusec, Olmo, Orsic, and Petkovic. 

Atalanta came out in the match knowing it was all or nothing, and a win was their only option on Tuesday. In the first five minutes, Atalanta already had a handful of dangerous attacks, which Dinamo was lucky to escape without conceding a goal. 

Atalanta’s aggression did not fizzle throughout the first half, though Dinamo had their fair few chances when the headers of Stojanovic and Orsic missed the goal.

But Atalanta finally had their chance in the 27th minute when Dinamo defender Dino Peric’s leg wrapped around Luis Muriel for a penalty. Atalanta was up 1:0. 

Dinamo’s defense continued in shambles – and they were lucky Atalanta missed three gifts from the Croatian backline. However, a brilliant shot by Orsic in the 35th minute hit the Atalanta crossbar. 

Atalanta was anxious for a goal and took nearly any shot they could with the hope that it’d hit the back of the net. The game, fortunately for Dinamo, ended 1:0 at the half. 

Dinamo saw perhaps the worst start to the second half they have had in several seasons. Their shaky defense once again to blame, as Alejandro Gomez scored for 2:0. 

Atalanta’s attacking game did not slow down as the second half continued – and Dinamo’s drive dwindled. Atalanta had several unlucky chances, while Dinamo was dangerous maybe twice. This was not the Croatian champion we knew. 

By the 86th minute, Atalanta had taken their ninth corner of the match. 

The referee signaled to three minutes of added time, in which two corners for Dinamo proved unsuccessful. One last (and almost promising) Dinamo attack in the final minute kept us on our seat, but the match ended 2:0 for Atalanta.

Dinamo will host Manchester City next on December 11, 2019. 

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