Josip Ilicic bagged a double brace against Valencia.



Atalanta eased into the Champions League quarter-finals as Josip Ilicic bagged a double brace against Valencia.

In the first match of the competition to be played behind closed doors because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Atalanta’s Josip Ilicic is the oldest player to score an away Champions League hat-trick – aged 32 years.

The Italians arrived in Spain with a commanding 4-1 lead from the first leg of their last-16 tie and quickly added to their advantage inside eerie Mestalla Stadium.

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With the chants of a large gathering of home supporters outside the ground clearly audible.

And while Kevin Gameiro capitalised on a defensive mix-up to tap in an equaliser for the hosts.

Diakhaby’s handball allowed Ilicic to score his second spot-kick of the evening to put the visitors 6-2 up on aggregate.

A second Gameiro goal, this time from a close-range header, levelled the score on the night before Ferran Torres’ lobbed effort put the La Liga side in front.

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As he became the first Slovenian player to score a Champions League hat-trick.

Who have now scored 28 goals in their last seven games and become the competition’s first debutants to reach the last eight since Leicester City in 2016-17.

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