Young Boys vs Atalanta 3-3: Muriel Salvages Point for La Dea

Atalanta could not overcome Young Boys in Bern on Tuesday night as they were held to a 3-3 draw by the Swiss champions in the fifth match of Champions League Group F. To qualify to the knockout stage for the third season in a row, Gian Piero Gasperini and his boys now have no option but beating Villarreal at home in two weeks.

It was an unexpected outcome for the Nerazzurri, who seemed able to take all three points on offer but suddenly found themselves one goal down with just six minutes to go. It took a last-gasp Luis Muriel equalizer to enable Atalanta to salvage at least one point and continue harboring some chances of making it through the group stage.

Atalanta put their heads ahead after 10 minutes as Duvan Zapata received the ball from Remo Freuler in the middle of the box and swiftly volleyed it past the Young Boys’ backup goalkeeper.

They should have had their second first with José Palomino and then with Mario Pasalic, whose curling effort ended a few inches wide of the net. On 33 minutes, the Croatian midfielder was also apparently fouled in the box, but the referee waved play on. On the other hand, it was the home side drew level on 39 minutes as US striker Jordan Siebatcheu headed the ball home from a corner kick, besting Marten De Roon in the process.

Atalanta regained their lead early in the second half, courtesy of a winning shot from Palomino from the edge of the box. Before that, Ruslan Malinovskyi had challenged goalkeeper Guillaime Faivre with a tricky free-kick effort.

Gasperini must have thought he could control the game but that was a mistake as the Bern side came closer to draw level again with a Fabian Rieder offensive in the box. In the occasion, the Atalanta coach must thank his goalkeeper Juan Musso for winning the one-on-one battle with the Young Boys men.

On 73 minutes, Zapata should have closed the game but wasted a favorable chance with a shot that sailed above the crossbar. Then, it was Faivre again to save Young Boys with a super save that defused a long-range shot from Giuseppe Pezzella.

In the space of four minutes, La Dea risked wasting it all as they conceded back-to-back goals to the home side. The Atalanta defense was caught unprepared as a throw-in picked Moumi Ngamaleu in the box and the Cameroonian winger served Vincent Sierro the chance for a point-blank conclusion – which he didn’t waste.

Then, on 84 minutes, left back Silvan Hefti surprisingly put Young Boys in the driving seat by attempting one of those shots that usually succeed only once in the life of a defender. It seems that this was his lucky night.

Gasperini went all in and threw additional striker Luis Muriel in the mix. The Colombian forward repaid him with a winning free kick to pull the chestnuts out of the fire for Atalanta – but the Nerazzurri still had to suffer during stoppage time, with Musso saving his side twice more before the referee would blow for full time. 

Atalanta could be happy with salvaging at least one point, but in two weeks at the Gewiss Stadium they will necessarily have to beat Villarreal to extend their European dream.



November 23, 2021 – Champions League 2021-2022 Group F

SCORER: 10′ Zapata (A), 39′ Siebatcheu (Y), 51′ Palomino (A), 80′ Sierro (Y), 84′ Hefti (Y), 87′ Muriel (A)

YOUNG BOYS (4-3-3): Faivre; Hefti, Burgy, Lauper, Garcia; Aebischer, Martins Pereira, Rieder (67′ Sierro); Elia (67′ Mambimbi), Siebatcheu, Ngamaleu (Zbinden, Lfort, Lustenberger, Maceiras, Jankewitz, Maier, Spielmann, Sulejmani, Kanga, Toure) Coach: Wagner
ATALANTA (3-4-2-1): Musso; Toloi, Demiral (71′ Djimsiti), Palomino; Zappacosta (46′ Pezzella), De Roon, Freuler (78′ Pessina), Maehle (87′ Muriel); Malinovskiy, Pasalic (71′ Koopmeiners); Zapata (Rossi, Sportiello, Scalvini, Ilicic, Miranchuk, Piccoli) Coach: Gasperini

REFEREE: Siebert (Germany)
NOTES: Yellow Card: Garcia, Ngamaleu, Hefti (Y), Demiral, Zapata (A); Added Time: 1st Half 3′, 2nd Half 3′