Preview - Atalanta vs Borussia Dortmund 23 Feb 2018

Started by aaguerra90, Feb 21, 2018, 07:08 AM

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aaguerra90

Europa League Round of 32
Atalanta vs Borussia Dortmund
Friday, February 23rd, 2018
04:05 (GMT +8)
Stadium: MAPEI Stadium

Atalanta:
Last five matches: D L D W L
Average goals per match: 2.3
Average goals against per match: 0.6
Top Scorer: Josip Ilicic (4)

Borussia Dortmund: 
Last five matches: W W W W D 
Average goals per match: 1.1
Average goals against per match: 2.1
Top Scorer: Pierre Emerick Aubameyang (4)

Borussia Dortmund struggled to defeat Atalanta last week, a lot of people underestimated the Italian side before this tie. It took a Michy Batshuayi goal at the death of the match to deny Atalanta a draw on German soil. They did get two very important away goals though, so by no means is Atalanta out of it yet.

Atalanta produced some great football in the group stage; the went undefeated in six matches--winning four and drawing two. They topped a group that included Everton and Lyon. The Bergamo side exposed Dortmund's defensive weaknesses and will be prepared to do so again in the return leg.

Borussia Dortmund have had poor displays in Europe. They dropped into the Europa League after finishing third--barely above minnows APOEL--in their Champions League group. Dortmund conceded a goal in every European match they've played in this season.

The return leg promises to be an electrifying one. Atalanta need a goal to go through, and Dortmund coach Peter Stoger should avoid telling his side to sit back and try to protect the one goal lead they have from the first leg. This match promises many goals with on-fire Batshuayi and Josip Ilicic looking to add to the two goals each scored in the Westfalenstadion.

Prediction: Atalanta 2-2 Borussia Dortmund

aaguerra90

Half time: 1-0
Full time: 1-1
Aggregate score: 3-4
Shots: 7:8
Shots on target: 2:4
Corner kicks: 6:6
Possession: 45:55

Marcel Schmelzer scores in the 82nd minute to help Borussia Dortmund survive a scare against Atalanta.

Borussia Dortmund carried a narrow 3-2 lead into today's match against Atalanta. The Bergamo side got off to a perfect start as they tied the aggregate score at 3-3 in the 11th minute. Rafael Toloi got on the end of a corner that was missed by everybody in the box and kneed the ball into the back of the net. This was the result Atalanta needed, as their two away goals in Dortmund would send them through to the next round.

Borussia Dortmund had lost four of their last six matches in all European competitions against Italian sides. Combined with the early goal they conceded it seemed like this would be it for the Germans in the Europa League.

Both teams got at each other throughout the match, exchanging opportunities but neither succeeded in scoring a goal. 'El Papu' Gómez squandered a clear chance to put the match away in the 80th minute when he was one on one with the goalkeeper. Roman Burki won that battle and in the ensuing play, Dortmund found the equalizer.

Mario Gotze drove into the box and took a low shot that bounced awkwardly thanks to the wet pitch conditions. Goalkeeper Etrit Berisha did well to stop it but the ball skipped around and was deflected into the path of Marcel Schmelzer who rocketed the ball into the goal.

Borussia Dortmund were made to sweat in this one but managed to pull out the result they needed. Peter Stöger and his men are undefeated in 2018 in all competitions and progress to the next round of the Europa League.

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