Italian club, Atalanta has successfully ended the Champions League race of Spanish team, Valencia after the Spanish side suffered a defeat in the hands of their visitor on Tuesday, 10th March. The night surely did end well for Gian Piero Gasperini side as his Slovenian international player, Josip Ilicic scored four goals to end the campaign of the Spanish team in a match played behind closed doors.
Though the game was played in an empty stadium where only the footballers and every other officiating personnel were allowed in as fans were not allowed to gain entry into the stadium due to the fear of Coronavirus. At first, when the new policy of playing games behind closed doors started in Italy before it went into Spain, many players would not like it because of the cheers and motivation they enjoy from the spectators would be greatly missed.
However, Slovenian international player, Josip Ilicic will remember his first Champions League game played behind closed doors and will wish every other game will be like it. The cheer of the fans was clearly audible from outside the stadium where they were staged when the Atalanta striker shook the net for the fourth time making him the first Slovenian player to have a hat-trick in the Champions League and first Atalanta player to score four goals in one Champions League game.
Whereas the Atalanta campaign in the Champions League started with a bit of inferiority perception from the audience and football critics, however, the Italian side started showing themselves when they pipped Manchester City to a draw, defeated Shakhtar Donetsk and Dinamo Zagreb to qualify out of the group stage. They have surely posed themselves to be a force to be reckoned with in the Champions League adventure for this season.
Reasonably, having done so well on the field of play, Josip Ilicic was given the man of the match honor, when he was speaking with newsmen, he revealed that he did not want the match to end anymore because he was enjoying every bit of it. In his words, “I don’t want to stop, I want to continue. I’m having fun,” said Ilicic.
“Atalanta is no longer a surprise. We are doing great things and we want to continue. We want to show that we deserve to be here. We have fun we don’t worry about who we’re playing against. We move on.”