“Tore them to pieces” – What Italian media said about Liverpool’s 3-0 loss

The Italian media were surprised with how Jurgen Klopp approached Thursday’s home leg against Atalanta, with Liverpool “torn to pieces” in a 3-0 defeat.

Liverpool suffered one of their worst-ever defeats under Klopp, given the context of the tie, as they went 3-0 down in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final.

At Anfield, and considered overwhelming favourites, the Reds crumbled at the hands of Atalanta – a side sixth in Serie A and with one win in their last six away games.

Former West Ham striker Gianluca Scamacca netted a brace and Mario Pasalic scored the third, with no reply from an awful Liverpool.

The result was a historic one for Atalanta, with the Italian press revelling in a night where Liverpool were “annihilated.”

“Violated Anfield Road with an unimaginable result”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, April 11, 2024: Atalanta celebrate their side's second goal during the UEFA Europa League Quarter-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and BC Atalanta at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

In their match report, Tuttosport perfectly summed up the significance of the victory for Atalanta:

“Party at Anfield for the 2,000 Nerazzurri fans, another magical night for Atalanta.”

Writing for Corriere dello Sport, Ivan Zazzaroni took a similar view, with a fitting analogy for how Liverpool sleepwalked into the game:

“One of the club’s greatest international exploits.

“Winning – and doing it in the way we did – at Anfield is something fantastic and talkable for many years.

“Liverpool never walks alone, the problem is that this time the destination was the dentist’s chair in Grugliasco.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, April 11, 2024: Atalanta's Gianluca Scamacca (#90) celebrates after scoring the first goal with team-mate Mario Pašali? during the UEFA Europa League Quarter-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and BC Atalanta at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Journalist Stefano Agresti of Gazzetta dello Sport compared Atalanta’s 2-0 behind-closed-doors win at Anfield in 2020 with a “more beautiful” triumph:

“The real feat – to add to the now infinite epic of Gasperini’s Goddess – was achieved by the Nerazzurri, who violated Anfield Road with an unimaginable result: 3-0, even.

“They had already triumphed in Liverpool four years ago, it’s true, but everything was different, there was Covid and there were no fans, it was the elimination round and the Reds had just won 5-0 in Bergamo.

“This time everything is even more beautiful, extraordinary; passing in this way in front of Klopp and the Kop (now packed) is sensational.”

However, Agresti was eager to point out that “nothing is impossible” for Liverpool in the second leg, though this fact “cannot disturb the joy of Bergamo”:

“It must also be said that success does not give absolute certainty of qualification, because this is Liverpool, one of the strongest teams in the world, and nothing is impossible for them.

“And we must remember that the English have left some stars on the bench, thinking more about the Premier League than the Europa League.

“None of this – God forbid – can disturb the joy of Bergamo. The success is historic, and not just for Atalanta: Liverpool might remember Gasperini as the man who ended the European adventure of the legend Klopp on the Reds bench.”

Tsimikas the “weak link”

TOULOUSE, ENGLAND - Thursday, November 9, 2023: Liverpool's Kostas Tsimikas walks off at half-time with his side losing 1-0 during the UEFA Europa League Group E match-day 4 game between Toulouse FC and Liverpool FC at the Stadium de Toulouse. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Also for Gazzetta dello Sport, correspondent Davide Chinellato enthused over how Atalanta “tore them to pieces”:

“Atalanta rediscovers itself as great, indeed very great.

“As immense as beating Liverpool 3-0 at Anfield, those Reds who are favourites for the Europa League and equal first in the Premier League who had not yet lost in their stadium this season.

“The Nerazzurri annihilated them, tore them to pieces.”

Analysing the game, Chinellato singled out Kostas Tsimikas as Liverpool’s “weak link”:

“De Keteleare did the right things in attack, Ederson growled in the middle of the pitch, Zappacosta on the right runs away often and willingly, driving Tsimikas crazy, De Roon on the other side makes little or no mistakes.

“Klopp, on the other hand, made a lot of mistakes: too much turnover in the first half, with Tsimikas clearly out of condition, the weak link in a team that took a 2-0 lead in the second half just when they had picked up the pace to try to make a comeback.

“On the eve of the match, the Reds coach said he expected a tactically disciplined opponent. What he hadn’t foreseen was taking a sensational lesson from Gasperini.

“One that puts Atalanta with one foot in the semi-finals and forces Liverpool to have to do an equally great feat in a week in Bergamo so as not to exit the cup in which they have been favorites since the beginning of the season.”

Nunez gets a 4.5

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, April 11, 2024: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez walks off the pitch as he is substituted during the UEFA Europa League Quarter-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and BC Atalanta at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Tsimikas also came in for further criticism as TuttoMercatoWeb issued their player ratings, with the Greek and Darwin Nunez given the lowest scores at 4.5 out of 10.

On Tsimikas:

“He made a lot of mistakes, perhaps because he’s a little rusty.”

On Nunez:

“Difficult to stop one-on-one, sometimes he believes he is stronger than he really is. This is why the touch under him ended up far from Musso’s posts, and it wasn’t difficult.

“He missed two quite simple ones, condemning Liverpool: he changed the course of events.”

Tsimikas received the lowest rating from Gazzetta dello Sport, too, with the same score of 4.5.