Scheduled last night but postponed due to snowfall in Bergamo, the last match of the group stage of the Champions League took place this Thursday. At home, Atalanta was beaten by Villarreal (2-3). Consequence: Unai Emery’s troops are the last guests of the round of 16.
Twenty-two hours after the scheduled time, the match between Atalanta and Villarreal took place at Gewiss Stadium in Bergamo. At stake, the last ticket for the knockout stages of the Champions League. On a lawn this time cleared of snow, Unai Emery’s troops set off with a slight advantage. Second in Group F behind Manchester United with 7 points, the yellow submarine only needed a draw, while the Dea and its 6 points on the clock absolutely had to win on home soil to overtake its evening opponent .
Gewiss Stadium in Bergamo, yesterday:
Debido a la intensa nevada ❄️ que cae sobre Bérgamo, la organización ha decidido que el @Atalanta_BC 🆚 #Villarreal comenzará 20 minutos más tarde de lo previsto inicialmente, es decir, a las 21.20 horas.#UCL pic.twitter.com/NC0MF3sikP
– Villarreal CF (@VillarrealCF) December 8, 2021
Logical under -1 °, in this decisive meeting, Atalanta was picked cold. A hesitation from Demiral allowed Dani Parejo to launch Danjuma into the Italian camp. The Dutch striker accelerated devastatingly into the box, where he slipped the ball with his left foot between Musso’s legs (0-1, 3rd). In search of two goals to advance to the knockout stages, the Italians did what it takes. On a plunging free kick, Toloi put his head but the ball flew just above (9th). Ideally served in the box, Joakim Maehle then found the post. He was anyway offside (12th).
The next alert came from the foot of Remo Freuler, who triggered the right foot from outside the area and forced Rulli to take off (15th). The Spaniards made the round back and tried to place winning shots against. Demiral put his head above Capua on a corner, but fell facing an imperial Rulli on his flight (37th). As an opportunist, Villarreal finally doubled the bet. On recovery in front of the surface, Etienne Capoue relied on Gerard Moreno, who shifted Moi Gomez to the right. His pass for the French environment was precise. Capoue finished with a placed and powerful shot that pierced Musso (0-2, 42nd).
Gewiss Stadium in Bergamo, today:
– Atalanta BC (@Atalanta_BC) December 9, 2021
After a first act placed under the sign of Spanish realism (4 shots, 3 on target, 2 goals) – facing the Italian awkwardness (8 shots, 2 on target) – the debates resumed. Now with Malinovskyi and Djimsiti, Gian Piero Gasperini’s players had to score three times. Complicated mission. Even more so when you concede a 3rd goal! Taking advantage of Gerard Moreno’s huge bridge over Palomino in the area and a precise service, Danjuma turned in a flash in front of Toloi and finished with a left-footed pivot shot (0-3, 51st).
Atalanta makes Villarreal doubt until the end
As Danjuma became the second player in Villarreal history to score four goals in the same Champions League season after Joseba Llorente (2008/09), Luis Muriel replaced De Roon to go all-out. Coming to strike a ball dropped by Illicic in the area, Duvan Zapata only found the base of the post (63 ‘). Twenty minutes from the end, served by Maehle in front of the area, Ruslan Malinovskyi reduced the gap with a sudden shot from the left foot, deflected by Moi Gomez (1-3, 71st). La Dea regained hope.
Especially since Duvan Zapata was still closing the gap. On a millimeter serve from Illicic, the Colombian took advantage of a poor alignment by Foyth to go and adjust Geronimo Rulli with a small dive (2-3, 80th). The Italians insisted, but the head of Zapata, on a cross from Toloi, was well captured by Rulli (85th). In the process, Luis Muriel recovered a too deep cross from Illicic and sent a missile with the right foot … which ended on the post of Rulli, miraculous (86th). At the end of additional time, Boulaye Dia missed the goal of 4-2, alone against Musso (90th + 5). Present in the group stage of C1 for the first time in 10 years, Villarreal qualified for the round of 16. Atalanta was transferred to the Europa League.
The classification of Group F of the Champions League