Champions League

Champions League: Ilicic hits four as Atalanta make history

The Slovenian was in brilliant form as Valencia were knocked out in an entertaining clash at the Mestalla

9:00am on Thursday 12th March 2020
Martin Macdonald
Josip Iličić
F, AM (C) - Atalanta - 32 yrs
Mar 10, 2020

Josip Ilicic converted his supreme domestic form into the Champions League this week with a sparkling performance as Atalanta defeated Valencia 4-3 to progress to the last eight of the competition for the first time in their history.

He was head and shoulders above every other player on the pitch in terms of quality, and scored all four goals for La Dea, with two coming from the penalty spot.

In a topsy turvy game which saw both sides exchange the lead, it would be his final two goals which would give Atalanta the equaliser before the winner.

For his hat-trick goal he glided through the middle to the edge of the area before lashing a left-footed finish emphatically into the bottom right corner, while his fourth was a lovely, side-footed finish into the top left corner this time from the right of goal.

He enjoyed 65 touches of the ball, 12 of which came inside the Valencia box.

Marcel Sabitzer
AM (CR) - RB Leipzig - 25 yrs
Mar 10, 2020

RB Leipzig captain for the night Marcel Sabitzer proved to be the tie winner for his side, scoring two of the three goals as they comfortably defeated Spurs 3-0.

For both his goals, he was given a bit of a helping hand by the weak hands of Hugo Lloris, but the first was struck well into the bottom corner while he did put plenty of power behind his header at the near post which squeezed in.

He pretty much ran things in midfield for the Bundesliga side, completing 45/53 balls to team-mates, 14 of which were sent into the final third. There was hard work in there, too, as he made 10 ball recoveries.

Marcos Llorente
M, DM (C) - Atletico Madrid - 25 yrs
Mar 11, 2020

In the shock of the round, reigning champions Liverpool failed to make it through the round of 16 after Atletico Madrid won 3-2 at Anfield in extra time.

Even though he didn't start the game, Marcos Llorente would emerge as the match winner with two goals scored in the 97th and 106th minutes.

After a mistake from Adrian, he scored his first with a whipped strike across goal into the bottom corner. His second went into the same corner, but with a bit more precision as he bent the shot around the defender to nestle into the back of the net.

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