Atalanta were handed a bitter blow in their Champions League debut as they were battered 4-0 at Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday evening.
Gian Piero Gasperini’s side never got going in Croatia, being hit by caginess from the first minute and never looking comfortable, with nerves seeming to take their hold on a number of their players, particularly at the back.
Marin Leovac proved to be one of the villains of the night for the Italians and the Croatian opened the scoring after ten minutes as he arrived late into the six-yard box to finish Petar Stojanovic’s perfect centre.
After 20 minutes La Dea started to put together some passes, but that spell of growth didn’t last long before the deficit doubled.
Mislan Orsic got the first of his treble as Atalanta were caught with an overlap. A Leovac cutback found him on the edge of the area and he excellently placed into the bottom corner.
His second came before half time as he headed in a close-range header at the back post.
The fourth and Orsic’s third game midway through the second half. A loose ball broke on the right and Kevin Theophile-Catherine mere thump forward fell for Orsic with time to control the ball and slot it beyond Pierluigi Gollini.
Dinamo’s 24-year-old goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic made a remarkable save late on to deny Duvan Zapata, while Mario Pasalic, Zapata and Robin Gosens missed other chances as well.