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Europa League scores, panic meter: Liverpool destroyed by Atalanta, AC Milan struggle vs. AS Roma

The first leg of the UEFA Europa League quarterfinals were far from smooth sailing for the favorites with the likes of Liverpool and AC Milan kicking things off with a loss and Bayer Leverkusen needing two goals in the final 10 minutes to acquire the advantage.

It leaves the tournament’s most high-profile sides in different situations heading into next week’s second legs, some much more ideal than others. The most surprising result of Thursday’s action was undoubtedly Atalanta’s 3-0 win over Liverpool at Anfield, which leaves the Reds in arguably the toughest position for the second-leg ties.

That just might mean it’s time to sound the alarm on Liverpool and perhaps Milan, who lost 1-0 to Roma, while congratulating others on a job well done in the first leg. After a thrilling day of action in the Europa League, let’s break out the panic meter.

Europa League results

  • Liverpool 0, Atalanta 3
  • Bayer Leverkusen 2, West Ham 0
  • AC Milan 0, Roma 1
  • Benfica 2, Marseille 1

No need to panic: Bayer Leverkusen

The Bundesliga leaders may have only scored in the final 10 minutes of the game, but the thing about Leverkusen this season is that they somehow always get the job done. It’s not like they did not have the performance to back up the scoreline — they had 72.5% of the ball, 33 shots, 13 on target and 2.36 expected goals when all was said and done, and limited West Ham to just one shot. Even if West Ham have the plus of playing at home in the second leg, Leverkusen are going to be hard to beat both in terms of their style of play and their two-goal advantage.

Minimal levels of panic: Roma

Roma’s hot streak under new manager Daniele De Rossi continued, this time with a 1-0 win over Milan. The result complements a strong outing for Roma, who absorbed Milan’s pressure well and did more with their limited attacking moments than the opposition did — Milan posted 25 shots and put just five on target, while Roma nicked a goal from one of their 10 shots, three of which hit the target. The home-field advantage may help in the second leg, but the margin of victory is tight and Milan boast plenty of firepower so this tie is not over yet.

Somewhere in the middle: AC Milan

The attack-minded Milan got some things right on Thursday, like their high shot count. They were awfully wasteful, though, mustering just 1.55 expected goals despite all of their efforts. Milan have plenty of talent to turn things around, especially with goalscorers Christian Pulisic, Rafael Leao and Olivier Giroud in the squad. They did get outplayed to some degree by a revitalized Roma, though, so they will need to actually perform to overcome the one-goal deficit.

Five-alarm fire panic: Liverpool

It’s been a bad week for Liverpool, who might have taken themselves out of the Premier League title race and the Europa League in a matter of a few days. The Reds lost 3-0 on Thursday despite dominating in possession and shots, this time matching an ineffectiveness up top with a sloppiness in defense. It’s not that Liverpool are not good enough to overcome such a deficit a week from now — the fact that Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz, among others, are in the squad means they are always going to be in it. Jurgen Klopp’s team have been somewhat wasteful all season, though, something they have frequently survived but came to bite them against Manchester United on Sunday and Atalanta on Thursday. A three-goal deficit, as a result, is going to be hard to overcome and will likely require perfection to do so.

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