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Atalanta 2-3 Villarreal: Yellow Submarines got the last ticket to the Champions League’s knockout stage

After a day postponed by heavy snowfall, the decisive game between Atalanta and Villarreal in the Champions League‘s group stage kicked off yesterday night (ET). The winners in the game would be the last team to join the Round of 16 in the Champions League this season. Villarreal beat the home team, Atalanta, to get this honour.
Harry Siuu
By: Harry Siuu
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Atalanta vs Villarreal Preview

Both Atalanta and Villareal were not big names in the Champions League but they always tried to reach the highest place they can. The result of the game should have been decided on Wednesday if there had not been for the heavy snowfall at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia, making the match delayed. Yesterday evening, it officially kicked off. Atalanta hosted Villarreal at their home stadium, promising attractive and dramatic situations. 

 

Before the last matchday in Group F happened, Manchester United had a firm spot in the Round of 16  with 10 points. They were then in a tie with Young Boys to become the winners of the group while YB were at the bottom. Villarreal at that time were standing second with 7 points and having just 1 more point than Atalanta. That meant the Italian team needed to win this decisive game against Villareal to overcome the result of the Yellow Submarines. Whereas, the Spanish club only needed not to lose to officially join MU to the knockout stage of the Champions League. 

 

For this game, the Italian representatives were higher appreciated. Atalanta were famous for their aggressively attacking playing style. They have been playing impressively with 16 goals in the latest 5 games in all competitions. In addition, the Black and Blues would be played at their home stadium Atleti Azzurri d'Italia, helping them to control the game better. 

 

On the other side, Villarreal have been in their crisis when having unstable performances recently. They have been having 4 consecutive not-win-games as the visitors with 3 losing games among them. Thus, the club from La Liga were predicted to lose a high-form Atalanta once again. However, manager Emery’s squad were also known as a strong club with a solid counterattack style that could make Atalanta have to pay dearly for their mistakes. 

 

In summary, this was considered the most expected game among games between the teams who had been competing for the runners-up spot in each group. It would be definitely aggressive and alluring until the last minute.

 

 Atalanta vs Villarreal

 

Starting line-ups:

  • Atalanta (3-4-3): J.Musso; R.Toloi, M.Demiral, J.Palomino; H.Hateboer, M.de Roon, R.Freuler, J. Maehle; J.Ilicic, M.Pessina, D.Zapata.
  • Villarreal  (4-4-2): G.Rulli; J.Foyth, R.Albiol, P.Torres, P.Estupinan; M.Gomez, E.Capoue, D.Parejo, A.Moreno; G.Moreno, A.Danjuma.

Atalanta 2-3 Villarreal

Right in the 3rd minute, Pajero seized the ball from Merih Demiral and quickly passed it to Arnaut Danjuma’s position. The Yellow Submarines’ striker did not waste his chance to speed up and shot the ball past goalie Juan Musso's legs to give Villarreal an early lead. 

 

Having a goal early, the Spanish team played more confidently and positively. They defenced more solidly to break the attacks from the Italian rivals. Besides, the Yellow Submarines also took every opportunity they have to counterattack. In the 42nd minute, Moi Gomez crossed the ball to Etienne Capoue’s convenient position to finish rapidly into Atalanta’s net once again. 

 

The Black and Blues were conceded 2 goals in the first half, making their hope to join the Round of 16 become more slender than ever. Into the second half, they were careless to make a good opportunity for the reigning Europa League winners to score their third goal in the 42nd minute. Danjuma completed his double to raise the score up to 3-0 for Villarreal. 

 

Arnaut Danjuma is the Player of the Match

 

There still remained time for the home team to improve their situation. In the 71st minute, Ruslan Malinovskyi brought the first goal to Atalanta thanks to his long shot. Just 8 minutes later, Duvan Zapata had a perfect hit to shorten the score to 2-3 for the Italian team. Unfortunately, the home team did not have enough time to turn around the result of the game. Time stopped and Atalanta lost their chance to join the knockout stage after being thrashed 3-2 by the Yellow Submarines. 

 

Following the result, Villarreal became the last name to enter the 2021-22 Champions League’s round of 16 as the Group F’s runners-up. Meanwhile, Atalanta stood third and would have to compete in the Europa League in their next games. 

 

Champions League Group F

 

For now, the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League has been ready. Do not miss the latest news, predictions and results of this most prestigious football tournament for European clubs on Betimate!

Reference Sources

  • uefa.com
  • betimate.com
Harry Siuu
Written by: Harry Siuu
a specialized football specialist with over ten years' experience as a football journalist who works for Betimate.com.

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Premier League
Overall table PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1 Arsenal 50 19 16 2 1 45 16 29
2 Man City 45 20 14 3 3 53 20 33
3 Newcastle 39 20 10 9 1 33 11 22
4 Man Utd 39 20 12 3 5 32 25 7
5 Tottenham 36 21 11 3 7 40 31 9
6 Brighton 31 19 9 4 6 37 27 10
7 Fulham 31 21 9 4 8 32 30 2
8 Brentford 30 20 7 9 4 32 28 4
9 Liverpool 29 19 8 5 6 34 25 9
10 Chelsea 29 20 8 5 7 22 21 1
11 Aston Villa 28 20 8 4 8 23 27 -4
12 Crystal Palace 24 20 6 6 8 18 27 -9
13 Nottm Forest 21 20 5 6 9 16 35 -19
14 Leicester 18 20 5 3 12 28 35 -7
15 Leeds 18 19 4 6 9 26 33 -7
16 West Ham 18 20 5 3 12 17 25 -8
17 Wolverhampton 17 20 4 5 11 12 30 -18
18 Bournemouth 17 20 4 5 11 19 42 -23
19 Everton 15 20 3 6 11 15 28 -13
20 Southampton 15 20 4 3 13 17 35 -18