Soccer-Pessina strike gives Atalanta win over Young Boys


Soccer Football - Champions League - Group F - Atalanta v BSC Young Boys - Stadio Atleti Azzurri, Bergamo, Italy - September 29, 2021 BSC Young Boys players applaud their fans after the match REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

BERGAMO, Italy (Reuters) - Atalanta maintained their good start in the Champions League after an opportunist goal from Italy forward Matteo Pessina midway through the second half helped them to a 1-0 home win over Swiss side Young Boys on Wednesday.

The result provisionally left Atalanta top of Group D on four points from two games, ahead of Young Boys who have three. Manchester United, who lost at Young Boys 2-1 in their opening match, host Villarreal later on Wednesday.

Atalanta dominated throughout and Young Boys goalkeeper David von Ballmoos pulled off several fine saves before Pessina slid in at the near post to stab home a low Duvan Zapata cross in the 68th minute.

The home side had a 17th-minute goal ruled out for offside after a VAR check, when Young Boys defender Sandro Lauper turned the ball into his own net, but was let off the hook as Rafael Toloi mistimed his run in the build up.

Pessina was guilty of a shocking miss when he failed to bundle the ball home from three metres in the 43rd minute and Von Ballmoos kept out efforts by Zapata and Davide Zappacosta before he was finally beaten.

The keeper denied the home side a second goal when he reacted superbly to thwart substitute Luis Muriel in the 88th minute and Atalanta, who earned a 2-2 draw at Villarreal in their opening match, held on comfortably in the closing stages.

(Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Toby Davis)

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