Man City made to wait for CL progression after Atalanta frustration

A missed penalty proved costly as Manchester City were denied the chance to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League against Atalanta.

A win would have put City through with two games to spare, but they were made to wait on an entertaining evening.

Having already put five past their Italian opponents in the reverse fixture, City started on the front foot, with Raheem Sterling finishing off a good move to give them the lead after just seven minutes.

Towards the end of the half, they had a couple of chances to double their lead. First, they thought they had won a penalty when Sterling was brought down, but a VAR check confirmed the initial contact was outside the box, meaning the decision was overturned.

However, the resulting free kick crashed into the hand of Josip Ilicic in the Atalanta wall, and although the referee did not spot it at first, VAR intervened again to correctly give City a penalty.

Gabriel Jesus failed to make the most of the opportunity from the spot, though, as he pulled his effort well wide.

While City had started the first half brightly, it was their opponents who took even less time to score in the second half. Captain Alejandro Gomez dribbled down the left wing before playing in a delightful cross for Chelsea loanee Mario Pasalic, who was left with a simple header past Claudio Bravo – who had replaced Ederson at half-time.

It marked Atalanta’s first goal in the second half of a Champions League match, and they finally shook off their timid approach. Berat Djimsiti had a good chance from a corner, as he headed wide.

With 10 minutes remaining, there was another twist, as Bravo was sent off for bringing down Ilicic after rushing out of his box. With Bravo already having been the substitute keeper, right-back Kyle Walker had to come on in his place.

Walker was immediately called into action to save a free kick from Ruslan Malinovskyi.


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