Josip Ilicic scored four goals as Atalanta beat Valencia 4-3 away to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time, winning 8-4 on aggregate.

In an empty Mestalla Stadium due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the hosts made a nightmare start as Mouctar Diakhaby brought down Ilicic to concede a penalty after four minutes with the Slovenian converting the spot-kick.

Albert Celades’ side gave themselves a lifeline when they took advantage of a loose ball with Kevin Gameiro netting the equaliser.

But Diakhaby’s night got even worse when he was penalised for handball, giving the visitors another penalty which Ilicic dispatched for his 18th goal of the season.

Gian Piero Gasperini brought on striker Duvan Zapata for the injured Marten De Roon on the stroke of half-time, showing his side had no intentions of shutting up shop.

Their trademark attacking flair was their undoing at times in the second half with Gameiro grabbing an equaliser with a powerful header.

And the Spanish side had a glimmer of hope when Fernan Torres took advantage of poor goalkeeping from Marco Sportiello, playing instead of the injured Pierluigi Gollini, to loft the ball over him to make it 3-2.

But any prospect of an unlikely Italian job were dashed when Ilicic completed his hat-trick with another slick finish from close range.

The Slovenian signalled to be taken off but Gaspirini kept him on the field and he responded with another goal, the best of the lot, with a first-time strike into the top corner to seal yet another impressive victory.