Atalanta followed Napoli and AS Roma’s lead to become just the third of Serie A’s seven European representatives to start their continental campaign with a win this midweek. La Dea beat Polish side Rakow Czestochowa 2-0 at the Gewiss Stadium in their 2023/24 Europa League opener.

The Nerazzurri were struggling to break their opponents down in Bergamo until a Davide Zappacosta cross found Charles De Ketelaere to head in the opener in the second half. Substitute Ederson then headed home a second. It would have been a much wider margin of victory for Atalanta had Rakow goalkeeper Vladan Kovacevic not been in such fine form on the night.

Atalanta’s Ederson celebrates a Europa League goal with Aleksey Miranchuk. (@Atalanta_BC)

Atalanta, then, sit on three points and top of Group D after their first Europa League fixture as they return to the tournament after a season-long absence from Europe in 2022/23. Gian Piero Gasperini‘s side sit top after Sturm Graz and Sporting Clube de Portugal ended with a 2-1 win for the Portuguese.

Atalanta’s Curva Nord puts on a display ahead of a Europa League game at the Gewiss Stadium. (@Atalanta_BC)