With Manchester United safely through as group winners, one spot was left for the second placed team for the last 16. The match postponed from previous night as heavy snow pounded Bergamo. Atalanta flying high in Serie A with some attacking soccer under Gasperini., needed nothing short of a win to progress. Villarreal, holders of the Europa league needed to avoid defeat. Atalanta should have kept things a lot tighter in the first half. I know it is not their philosophy but here they will look back and wonder is they should have maybe gone 4 at the back for the opening stanza. Demiral losing the ball at half way line, quick ball catching the two defenders at the back. 1-0 yellow submarine after just 2 minutes. It was all Atalanta in this match in terms of attacking but the normally clinical Zapata was kept at arm’s length by the Spanish side’s defense . A sucker punch Capoue goal just before half time made the task more difficult for the Bergamo side.
Atalanta will look back at the Muriel chance on 85 minutes as THE moment in the match. They can have no complaints though given the way their defense defended here. More clinical finishing would have helped too. They head to the Europa League as one of the favorites there. They need to learn big match mentality vif they are t