CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ROUND-UP: Duvan Zapata involved in three goals as Atalanta cruise to win against debutants Midtjylland – as Ahmed Hassan’s stoppage-time header sees Olympiacos beat Marseille while Lokomotiv Moscow snatch point at RB Salzburg
- Duvan Zapata scored the opener before setting up Papu Gomez and Luis Muriel
- Debutant Aleksey Miranchuk was also on target for Atalanta against Midtjylland
- Ahmed Hassan headed home a cross by Mathieu Valbuena for Olympiacos
- Vitali Lisakovich menawhile rescued a draw for Lokomotiv against RB Salzburg
Towering Colombian striker Duvan Zapata scored one goal and set up two more as Atalanta cruised to a 4-0 victory over Midtjylland in their Champions League Group D clash in driving rain at the MCH Arena in Herning on Wednesday.
It was a tough debut for the Danish side in the Champions League group stages as they created little up front and were under constant threat in defence, with Papu Gomez, Luis Muriel and debutant Aleksey Miranchuk also on target for the Italians.
Atalanta, who had a surprise run to the quarter-finals last season, top the pool after the opening round of fixtures. Midtjylland visit Liverpool on Tuesday, while Atalanta host Ajax.
Duvan Zapata scored one and set up two as Atalanta crusied to victory against Midtjylland
Zapata gave the Italian outfit the lead after rifling the ball past a helpless Jesper Hansen
The Italians came into the game having been thumped 4-1 in Serie A at Napoli on Saturday and looked determined to erase that memory from the start as they took the game to their outgunned hosts.
Zapata broke free on the right side of the box early on but his shot from a tight angle rattled the post. He then forced an excellent save from home goalkeeper Jesper Hansen, whose fingertips denied the forward the opening goal.
The writing was on the wall though and two minutes later the striker put his side in front when a cross was cleverly headed into his path by Cristian Romero and Zapata rifled the ball past a helpless Hansen.
Atalanta doubled their advantage with a top strike into the roof of the net from Papu Gomez
Atalanta doubled their advantage with a superb strike from Gomez, who collected a pass from Zapata 30 metres from goal and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net.
It was 3-0 before halftime as the lively Zapata’s shot from the edge of the box was not held by Hansen in the wet and Muriel reacted quickest to turn home the loose ball.
Atalanta continued to threaten in the second half, with Miranchuk adding a superb fourth goal on his debut when he curled the ball into the corner of the net.
Luis Muriel also scored for Atalanta in a difficult outing for the Danish group-stage debutants
Debutant Aleksey Miranchuk (not pictured) was also on target for Atalanta with a curler
Elsewhere, a stoppage time goal by late substitute Ahmed Hassan gave Olympiakos Piraeus a 1-0 win over 1993 European Cup winners Olympique Marseille in their Champions League Group C match on Wednesday.
Hassan, who came on for Giorgos Masouras in the 84th minute, headed home an inch-perfect cross by former Marseille forward Mathieu Valbuena after a dominant Olympiakos had missed a string of chances.
In a dour first half, Yann M’Vila volleyed over the bar and Youssef El-Arabi had a close-range shot blocked for the home side while Florian Thauvin fired just wide at the other end.
Striker Ahmed Hassan’s stoppage-time header saw Olympiacos beat Marseille 1-0 in Athens
Olympiakos had a goal scrapped for offside after a VAR check in the 52nd minute, with Masouras sweeping in a rebound after Marseille keeper Steve Mandanda parried Valbuena’s stinging low shot.
Lazar Randjelovic hit the post for Olympiakos in the 69th minute before the outstanding Mandanda palmed away a Valbuena volley from seven metres.
When the game seemed to be heading for a goalless stalemate, Hassan stepped up and beat Mandanda with an unstoppable downward header into the bottom left corner to give the Greek side a well-deserved win.
Hassan headed home an inch-perfect cross by former Marseille forward Mathieu Valbuena
Meanwhile, Salzburg let Lokomotiv Moscow off the hook when they were held to an entertaining 2-2 draw at home by the Russian side in the Champions League on Wednesday.
The Austrian champions were leading 2-1 and completely in control only to be pegged back by an equaliser from substitute Vitali Lisakovich, who scored six minutes into his Champions League debut in the Group A game.
Portugal forward Eder, scorer of the winning goal in the Euro 2016 final against France, gave Lokomotiv the lead in the 19th minute with a header into the corner after Rifat Zhemaletdinov nodded on a corner at the near post.
Substitute Vitali Lisakovich’s equaliser saw Lokomotiv Moscow snatch a draw at RB Salzburg
Portugal forward Eder gave Lokomotiv the lead in the 19th minute with a header from a corner
The hosts turned the game around with two goals either side of halftime.
Dominik Szoboszlai curled in the equaliser in the 45th minute and veteran Zlatko Junuzovic scored with a deflected shot after Patson Dako laid the ball back to him seven minutes after the restart.
Sekou Koita hit the post for Salzburg but they were caught after losing possession on the edge of their own area and Lisakovich levelled with a 75th minute header which bounced between goalkeeper Cican Stankovic and his near post.
Salzburg’s next Champions League encounter sees them travel to Atletico Madrid, while Lokomotiv host holders Bayern Munich.
Salzburg midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai (left) curled in the equaliser in the 45th minute
Veteran Zlatko Junuzovic scored with a deflected shot before Lisakovich levelled things up
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