All three teams representing Serie A in the Europa League this season started off with a win. On matchday one, Atalanta, Lazio, and Milan left the pitch with three points. It was good to see the Italian teams perform well because their ‘superior’ counterparts in the UCL—Juventus, Napoli and Roma—did not deliver positive results over the course of Tuesday and Wednesday. Juventus got beat by Barcelona 3-0, Napoli lost to Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 and Roma drew with Atletico Madrid 0-0.
The Europa League, though, was a different story. The three Italian teams combined for 11 goals, only allowing three. Atalanta had a convincing victory over Everton, winning 3-0, Lazio came from behind twice to beat Vitesse 3-2, and Milan smashed Austria Wien 5-1.
Atalanta dominates Everton
Atalanta will be delighted with tonight’s win over Everton as they have lost two of their first three games in Serie A. The small club from Bergamo outclassed Everton, and will hope to emulate this performance when they face Lyon in the second game of the group stage.
Both teams had some opportunities early in the match, but Atalanta took the lead in the 27th minute off of a corner kick. Andrea Masiello tapped in a shot from two yards out after it bounced off an Everton player. After that goal, Atalanta started to put pressure on Everton’s defense as they sought a second goal.
Their high pressure was rewarded when in the 41st minute captain Alejandro “Papu” Gomez hit a wonderful strike from outside the box, curling it into the top corner.
Right before half-time, Bryan Cristante made it 3-0 after taking a pass in stride and calmly slotting it into the bottom corner.
La Dea held off all attempts made by Everton in the second half, capping off the evening with a well-deserved clean sheet.
Lazio grinds out victory against Vitesse
The Biancocelesti came into this match full of confidence after dominating Milan to a 4-1 victory over the weekend. However, this match would prove to be much more difficult.
Vitesse struck first, when in the 33rd minute Tim Matavz finished off a teasing cross that went right behind the defense.
After trailing 1-0 at the half, Lazio were able to level it up. In the 51st minute Marco Parolo struck a wonderful volley into the corner after a weak attempt of a clearance.
Six minutes later, Vitesse went back on top. Bryan Linssen made it 2-1 for the home side, scoring a goal very similar to the first, as the ball was played right in front of goal for an easy tap in.
Hat-trick hero against Milan over the weekend, Ciro Immobile scored once again to make it 2-2 in the 67th minute. After some wonderful build up play, Felipe Caicedo back-heeled it to Immobile who coolly slotted it past Remko Pasveer.
With 15 minutes left in the game, Alessandro Murgia got the match-winner when he shrugged off a Vitesse defender to finish it off and give Lazio all three points.
Milan hits five past Austria Wien
Milan had the exact response coach Vincenzo Montella was hoping for after a humiliating 4-1 loss to Lazio on Sunday. Milan produced arguably their best performance of the season, never giving Austria Wien a chance in the game.
It only took Milan seven minutes to begin the demolition. Following some good passing, Hakan Calhanoglu hit a screamer that flew into the opposite corner of the goal, leaving Osman Hadzikic no chance of saving it.
Three minutes later, Calhanoglu would become provider to set up the next goal. He hustled to win a slide tackle and then hit a through ball that Andre Silva received and placed past the keeper.
In the 20th minute, Calhanoglu once more assisted Silva. He chipped a perfectly weighted through ball behind the defense to set Silva up 1v1 with the keeper and the Portuguese international made no mistake, making it 3-0.
At the beginning of the second half, Austria Wien got a glimpse of hope when they pulled one back off of a corner kick. In the 47th minute, Alexandar Borkovic broke free to win a header, hitting it past the outstretched arms of Gigio Donnarumma.
The Rossoneri regained their composure, and put the game out of reach in the 56th minute. Andre Silva completed a hat-trick when he received a through ball into the box from Franck Kessie, beating the keeper near post and giving Milan their fourth goal of the game.
Suso came on to pitch as a sub in the 62nd minute, and it didn’t take long for him to make a mark on the game. In the 63rd minute, he put an exclamation point on the victory when he nailed a shot from 30-yards out.
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