UEFA Champions League | Post Match Summary: Atalanta 2-3 Villarreal

Bakambu’s time at Villarreal

Cédric Bakambu played 105 games and scored 45 goals for Villarreal CF between 2015 and 2018.

Villarreal needed a draw to seal their place in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, but Unai Emery’s men won (2-3) against a hard-working Atalanta side, who even at 0-3 down were still in the match.

Arnaut Danjuma, with a double, and Étienne Capoue scored the Submarine’s goals. From early on, the match went how Villarreal would have wanted. In the third minute, Dani Parejo pulled a fantastic pass out of his locker for Danjuma, who was clinical and finished calmly through Musso’s legs to score the first goal of the tie.

Atalanta continued to push forward despite going behind, and were fired on by their fans. Gero Rulli had to make a great save to deny Freuler from the edge of the box. Villarreal were holding up well in defence and creating danger up front with Gerard Moreno getting involved in the middle of the pitch and Danjuma causing problems from long balls. The Dutchman was electric and caused the Italians side’s three centre-backs a number of problems.

In the closing stages of the first half, a great piece of team play by Emery’s men ended in another goal. Capoue got on the end of a Moi Gómez low cross to fire into the back of the next, with an effort impossible to save for the opposition goalkeeper.

After half-time, Gian Piero Gasperini made two changes and Atalanta tried to get back into the game with 45 minutes left. However, Danjuma soon made it 0-3, turning well into the box after a magnificent Gerard assist, to get his second of the game. Malinovskyi, with a powerful effort from the edge of the box, cut the lead, and the home side, cheered on by their fans, believed they could pull off a famous comeback.

Atalanta got a second through Zapata, which meant there was an uncertain end to the game, with Gasperini’s side coming close on a number of occasions. However, Villarreal were able to keep the lead and managed the closing stages of the game well, qualifying for the UEFA Champions League Round of 16. After having achieved the objective, the team is now thinking on this Sunday’s league game against Rayo Vallecano at La Cerámica.

Groeneveld (3′, 51′), Capoue (42′), Malinovskiy (71′), Zapata (80′)