It’s a real shame Dinamo Zagreb won’t be moving forward in any European tournament this season. They started off so hot and controlled their own destiny – and although they should have deserved better regarding their European season – did they really? At the end of the day, the reigning Croatian champions only picked up two points in five group stage matches after opening up with a monstrous 4-0 victory over Atalanta.
And although Dinamo they bottled their season, there’s more positives to take from their CL group stage run than negatives.
1. Dinamo defeated an Italian Serie A club in Champions League
2. Dinamo held mighty Manchester City scoreless in England for an entire half; only losing 2-0
3. Dinamo made a boat load of money by making the CL group stage AND picking up a victory
4. Dinamo’s Dani Olmo, Mislav Oršicć, Bruno Petković, Dominik Livaković all increased their player evaluations
5. There were serious talks of Dinamo making the CL knockout round
It came down to Dinamo’s November 6th game against Shakhtar at Maksimir. Up 3-1, Dinamo conceded two injury time goals to let Shakhtar escape Zagreb with a 3-3 draw. It was absolutely awful. Dinamo never recovered in the standings and Atalanta made the most of their campaign. Atlanta – who only picked up one point from their first four Champions League matches – defeated Dinamo 2-0 and Shakhtar 3-0 in their final two matches; and will now be playing in the Round of 16.
It was a valiant effort. It was. And even in a match against a Manchester City B-side who already locked up top spot in the group before they took the field in Zagreb, well, City’s B-squad is better than most of Europe’s A-teams.