Villarreal became the last team to reach the Champions League knockout stages after in their rearranged final Group F match. This was thanks to Netherlands international Arnaut Danjuma’s double, which helped them to a 2-3 win at Atalanta on Thursday. So, after Manchester United qualified top of the table in Champions League football news, Villareal are the last qualifiers, yesterday.
UEFA had initially scheduled the game to take place on Wednesday but had to postpone it due to heavy snow.
But now, after winning 2-3 away, Villarreal secured second spot, four points ahead of Atalanta, who will join Europa League.
Champions League Football News – Villareal Are the Last Qualifiers
The First Half
Then, when they finally faced off in Group F yesterday, Villarreal wasted no time in putting themselves in command.
Danjuma raced clear of the Atalanta defence to break the deadlock inside just three minutes.
Danjuma caught Atalanta too high up the pitch when conceding possession. And the Villarreal striker promptly let loose a strike through the legs of home goalkeeper Juan Musso.
It was the fastest goal Atalanta had ever conceded in the Champions League, but it did not disrupt their flow.
Atalanta had more of the ball in Bergamo and mustered plenty of attempts at goal. But their wastefulness proved costly as Etienne Capoue made it 0-2 three minutes before their break.
The Second Half
The home side knew only victory would do for them to grab the final last-16 qualification spot after Manchester United.
So, Atalanta came out for the second half in all-out-attack mode.
Down the other end, however, Danjuma soon put the result beyond all doubt with his second goal, completing a brace. He scored a fine goal on the turn in the 51st minute, his 10th goal of the season across competitions.
However, substitute Ruslan Malinovskiy rifled home a 71st-minute consolation goal to give Atalanta some hope 19 minutes from death time.
And indeed, Duvan Zapata scored again for Atalanta with a well-taken goal, but it couldn’t tip over the 2-3 tally.
Luis Muriel hit the post moments later. The visitors held on, however, and their first Champions League campaign in a decade will continue into the knockout stages.