Atalanta's Historic Champions League Point
After a disastrous start, Atalanta break through for its first point in competition history.
It was a relatively small, but still significant achievement for Atalanta and its evolution as a football club.
After losing the first three Champions League games in its history, Atalanta finally broke through for its first point, drawing 1-1 at home to Manchester City.
Some might scoff at celebrating a point, but that ignores Atalanta’s disastrous Champions League start and the fact it has gained respect along the way. As City manager Pep Guardiola points out:
You can ask all the teams: playing against Atalanta is like taking a trip to the dentist. It's a little tough.
Unfortunately, most of the pain has been inflicted on Atalanta, conceding 11 goals in three losses, but the draw with City has kept it alive in Group C.
Indeed, Atalanta does control its fate to some extent, playing Dinamo Zagreb and Shakhtar Donetsk, hoping to at least finish third and move to the Europa League. Atalanta manager Giampiero Gasperini is remaining positive no matter where his side ends up:
Either way, it would be nice because I hope this team can get more experience of playing in Europe.
Continuing in the Europa League would provide more continental exposure for Atalanta, having made the knockout stage of that competition in 2017-18.
Which is what makes that first ever point so important for Atalanta as it continues its evolution as a football club.