BERGAMO, Italy (AP) — Villarreal secured the final place in the last 16 of the Champions League by holding on for a 3-2 win at Atalanta on Thursday in a game that had been postponed because of snowfall.
The Spanish side only needed a draw to advance as runner-up from Group F but jumped out to a 3-0 lead by the 51st minute before holding off Atalanta’s comeback attempt.
Arnaut Danjuma opened the scoring in the third minute on a counterattack with a clinical finish between the legs of Atalanta goalkeeper Juan Musso.
Étienne Capoue doubled the advantage before halftime, striking into the roof of the net, and Danjuma added his second after the break when he turned around his marker before scoring.
Atalanta answered with two goals from Duván Zapata and substitute Ruslan Malinovskyi but it was too late to turn things around.
Atalanta finished third in the group and will enter a playoff to get into the last 16 of the second-tier Europa League, the competition Villarreal won last season.
The match was originally scheduled to take place on Wednesday but had to be rescheduled because of heavy snow in northern Italy.
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