Atalanta set a new record by failing to score from 47 shots in 0-0 draw v Empoli

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Football is a game of fine margins.

A title win or relegation survival can be determined by a fingertip save or a miscalculated shot at goal.

These actions can seem relatively innocuous as they occur, but, for good reason, they’re often best remembered on the final day of the campaign.

Come 26 May, Atalanta and Empoli will likely find themselves scouring through footage in search of such moments in their Serie A clash on Monday evening.

And it’s safe to say they’ll be spoilt for choice.

The two sides met at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia with contrasting ambitions.

Atalanta were aiming to sustain their Champions League qualification bid, whereas Empoli needed three points to escape the drop zone.

It was a frantic affair from the off, with the visitors registering two of their three efforts at goal within the opening six minutes.

Incredibly, the ratio of shots-per-minute would stay roughly the same for the entire match, albeit exclusively coming from the boots and heads of Atalanta players.

Atalanta BC v Empoli - Serie A

The European hopefuls ended the match with a staggering 47 shots at goal, 18 of which were on target, yet somehow drew 0-0.

It’s the most attempts - on target or off target - any team in Europe’s top five leagues has racked up since such statistics were first recorded in 2006-07.

It’s worth noting that’s not just covering goalless matches; it’s every single game.

Empoli goalkeeper Bartlomiej Dragowski deserves special mention for his part in staving off the record-breaking onslaught, though.

The 21-year-old made no less than 17 saves, including six that any world-class shot-stopper would be proud of.

Dragowski - who’s on loan from Fiorentina - also saw more of the ball than all but one of his teammates with 67 touches.

For Atalanta, though, it’s impossible to overlook their wastefulness in the final third.

Almost a half-century of poor finishes, free-kicks into the wall and thwarted attempts to beat Empoli’s resilient defence is no laughing matter.

Alejandro Gomez spurned the most chances for the hosts with nine shots at goal, followed by Josip Ilicic and Duvan Zapata with eight apiece.

It almost sounds like a match report from a game of FIFA 19.

The astonishing result leaves Atalanta in sixth and two points behind fourth-placed AC Milan, while Empoli are equally adrift of safety.

Italy Football
Duvan Zapata
Bartlomiej Dragowski
Josip Ilicic
Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio
AC Milan
Serie A

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