Atalanta completed a comeback on Tuesday night to earn a point against Ajax as they played out a 2-2 draw in Bergamo despite the Dutch side racing into a 2-0 lead in the first half.
The Nerazzurri would have been keen to avoid defeat in their first-ever Champions League game in their home city and Duvan Zapata’s second-half brace ensured that they remain unbeaten in this season’s competition with four points from two games.
Things were lively from the off and both teams showed the technical proficiency that had been anticipated ahead of kick off.
Atalanta had appeals for a penalty waved away as Duvan Zapata went down under a challenge from Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana and Josip Ilicic sent a shot over that he should have opened the scoring with from inside the box soon after. More half-chances fell La Dea’s way, but they weren’t able to capitalise.
A penalty was awarded for the visitors when Robin Gosens was deemed to have caught Lassina Traore with a clumsily high boot in the box. Dusan Tadic stepped up, sent Marco Sportiello to the ground and dinked his spot kick straight down the middle to put the Dutch side ahead with half an hour played.
Eight minutes later that lead was doubled. Sportiello spilled a ball that let Traore pounce, knocking it away from the Italian before turning it over the line.
Ilicic came close with a freekick early in the second half too, sending a freekick under the wall that Onana did well to turn away.
Zapata did halve the deficit with a header though. The ball worked its way across from the right to Papu Gomez on the left of the box. The Atalanta captain put a cross right on the Colombian’s head and he sent it past Onana.
Duvan grabbed a second to level things up five minutes later. Sent through on a counterattack by Mario Pasalic, the No.91 drove into the box and rocketed a shot past Onana before he even knew it was on its way.
Atalanta wanted another penalty for what they considered a handball by Nicolas Tagliafico but, after a discussion with VAR, nothing was awarded.