Manchester City v Atalanta facts
Manchester City have made serene progress through Group C so far and now face for the first time an Atalanta side who have lost their first two matches in the UEFA Champions League.
• While the English champions have scored five goals without conceding in beating Shakhtar Donetsk and Dinamo Zagreb, Atalanta kicked off their debut campaign in the competition with a heavy defeat in Croatia before being denied a first point in dramatic circumstances on Matchday 2.
• This season, City have won 3-0 at Shakhtar and 2-0 at home to Dinamo to take their tally of goals scored to 19 in their last six UEFA Champions League matches. Since losing at home to Lyon on Matchday 1 last season (1-2) their record is W9 D1 L1 with 34 goals scored and ten conceded.
• In 2018/19, City recovered from that defeat at home to Lyon to finish first in Group F ahead of the French club, Shakhtar and Hoffenheim, picking up 13 points. They brushed aside Schalke 10-2 on aggregate in the last 16, but for the second year running lost to English opposition in the quarter-finals, Tottenham eliminating them on away goals after a dramatic 4-4 aggregate draw (0-1 a, 4-3 h).
• Josep Guardiola’s side have won ten of their last 17 European matches, home and away – losing six.
• City beat Shakhtar 6-0 at home on Matchday 4 last season, their record win in UEFA competition, before quickly surpassing that with a 7-0 defeat of Schalke in the round of 16 second leg. They scored 20 goals in their five home games in 2018/19.
• This is the Citizens’ ninth UEFA Champions League campaign; they have been involved in the group stage every season since 2011/12 and have reached the round of 16 or better in the last six campaigns.
• This is the fifth time City have been drawn in the same UEFA Champions League group as an Italian club; most recently, in 2017/18, they beat Napoli home (2-1) and away (4-2). That win at the City of Manchester Stadium was City’s first in five home games against Serie A sides (D3 L1); a 2-1 defeat against Juventus in September 2015 is their sole home reverse against Italian visitors.
• Those 2017 wins against Napoli made it three City successes in their last ten meetings with Italian clubs, home and away (D4 L3).
• City’s best UEFA Champions League performance was reaching the 2015/16 semi-finals.
• Champions of England for the second season running and sixth overall – four of those titles having come in the last eight years – City also lifted the FA Cup and League Cup in 2018/19, becoming the first English club to win all three domestic trophies in one season.
• Atalanta suffered their heaviest defeat in UEFA competition on Matchday 1, going down 4-0 at Dinamo Zagreb, before letting slip a 1-0 lead against Shakhtar at San Siro in Milan, conceding five minutes into added time to lose 2-1.
• Those results made it four European matches without a win for Atalanta (D2); Duván Zapata’s strike against Shakhtar ended the club’s three-game run without a goal.
• Before Matchday 1, the Italian club were unbeaten in seven matches in continental competition; they have still lost only three of their last 16 European games (W7 D6).
• This is Atalanta’s 38th European match, and their seventh campaign in continental competition. They reached the European Cup Winners’ Cup semi-finals in 1987/88 and the UEFA Cup quarter-finals three years later.
• Third in Serie A in 2018/19, their highest ever finish, and Coppa Italia runners-up, this is Atalanta’s third successive European campaign. They came through the UEFA Europa League group stage in 2017/18, losing to Borussia Dortmund in the round of 32 (2-3 a, 1-1 h), and were beaten 4-3 on penalties by Copenhagen in the play-offs of the same competition in 2018/19 after the tie had finished goalless; Atalanta had earlier eliminated Sarajevo (10-2 aggregate) and Hapoel Haifa (6-1).
• In that 2017/18 campaign, Atalanta played their only previous fixtures against an English club, beating Everton 3-0 at home and 5-1 away. Andrea Masiello and Alejandro Gómez scored in the home game in Reggio Emilia and Robin Gosens was on target in the success on Merseyside.
• Atalanta lost five of their first six away European matches (D1) but have suffered only three defeats in the next 12 (W4 D5) and only two in the last eight (W3 D3).
• Atalanta are the only team to be making their group stage debut in 2019/20 – they are the tenth Italian club to feature and the 141st overall.
Links and trivia
• Guardiola played in Italy for Atalanta’s arch rivals Brescia (2001/02, 2003) and Roma (2002/03).
• Have played in England:
Marten de Roon (Middlesbrough 2016–17)
Pierluigi Gollini (Manchester United 2012–14, Aston Villa 2016/17)
• De Roon scored an added-time equaliser in Middlesbrough’s 1-1 Premier League draw at City on 5 November 2016.
• Mario Pašalić is on loan at Atalanta from Chelsea. He joined the London club in July 2014 but has never featured for the first team.
• Has played in Italy:
João Cancelo (Internazionale 2017/18 (loan), Juventus 2018/19)
• International team-mates:
Kevin De Bruyne & Timothy Castagne (Belgium)
Nicolás Otamendi, Sergio Agüero & Alejandro Gómez (Argentina)
Oleksandr Zinchenko & Ruslan Malinovskyi (Ukraine)
• Atalanta had a pre-season tour to England this summer, playing friendlies against Premier League clubs Norwich (4-1) and Leicester (1-2).