Hans Hateboer scored twice as Atalanta beat Valencia 4-1 Wednesday in the first leg of the Champions League's round of 16, putting the Italian team on the verge of extending its first season in the competition.
Roughly a third of the population of the small town of Bergamo was present at Milan's San Siro stadium to see Hateboer, Josip Ilicic and Remo Freuler score for Atalanta.
Substitute Denis Cheryshev scored a consolation goal for Valencia to give the Spanish team a glimmer of hope ahead of the second leg on March 10.
Leipzig, another team playing in the knockout stages for the first time, won 1-0 at Tottenham in Wednesday's other Champions League match.
Atalanta qualified for Europe's top competition for the first time after a surprise third-place finish in Serie A last season. And it progressed to the knockout stages despite losing its first three matches in the competition.
It is playing its matches at San Siro as its own stadium didn't meet UEFA requirements. Bergamo has a population of approximately 122,000 and more than 40,000 had made the 60-kilometer journey.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)