Atalanta beat Valencia to make UCL quarter-finals in eerily empty stadium

Atlanta booked their place in the Champions League quarter-finals with a 6-3 aggregate victory over Valencia in an eerily empty Mestalla Stadium.

The statue of Vicente Navarro Aparicio – a lifelong Valencia fan who was immortalised at the ground after his death two years ago – was the only attendant on Tuesday night.

But Valencia were unable to come out on top despite the limited home support, as the Serie A club ran out 4-3 winners on the night.

A decision was made last week to play the Champions League fixture behind closed doors in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Spain's health ministry said it wanted to avoid "large gatherings of fans", but that didn't prevent Valencia supporters turning up in their thousands outside the Mestalla ahead of the game on Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, inside the confines of the ground, Josip Ilicic hit four goals as Atalanta won a thriller behind closed doors in Valencia to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.

Leading 4-1 from the first leg in Italy, Atalanta secured a 4-3 win on the night as Ilicic stole the show for the visitors.

The Slovenia striker scored two first-half penalties to seemingly wrap up the tie, only for a Kevin Gameiro brace and a Ferran Torres strike to give Valencia hope of a shock comeback.

That would change when Ilicic added his third and fourth in the last 20 minutes, with the Serie A club eventually running out 8-4 aggregate winners.

Marcel Sabitzer hit a first-half double as RB Leipzig cruised past Tottenham to join Atalanta in the last eight.

The Bundesliga side secured a 3-0 victory at the Red Bull Arena to advance 4-0 on aggregate and heap more misery on Spurs boss Jose Mourinho.


Source: Read Full Article