Champions League: Atletico Madrid Seal Qualification, Bayern Munich Beat Tottenham


Atletico Madrid claimed the final spot in the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over Lokomotiv Moscow, after Atalanta completed an impressive comeback in Group C to qualify. Bayern Munich sealed consecutive victories over Tottenham with a 3-1 success at the Allianz Arena, while Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus also finished their group campaigns on winning notes. Diego Simeone’s Atletico went into their game knowing defeat, coupled with a Bayer Leverkusen win against Juve, would see them dumped out.

Kieran Trippier had a second-minute penalty brilliantly saved by Lokomotiv goalkeeper Anton Kochenkov at the Wanda Metropolitano, but Joao Felix made no mistake from the spot a quarter of an hour later.

Atletico wasted a string of chances and Alvaro Morata had a goal ruled out by VAR for offside.

But their place in the knockout rounds was secured when centre-back Felipe volleyed home Koke’s cross after a short corner routine.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his second Champions League goal of the season as Juve, who were already sure of top spot, saw off Leverkusen 2-0 in Germany in the other Group D game.

Substitute Paulo Dybala was the creator of the 75th-minute opener, crossing low for Ronaldo to tap in a record-extending 128th goal in the competition, before Gonzalo Higuain’s injury-time clincher.

“Ronaldo and Higuain led by example, they were always the first to work hard for the team,” Juve ‘keeper Gianluigi Buffon told uefa.com.

Champions League debutants Atalanta claimed a famous 3-0 triumph at Shakhtar Donetsk to qualify with Manchester City despite having lost their first three games.

The Italian outfit, who finished third in Serie A last season, conceded 11 goals in their opening three matches, but drew with City at the San Siro before beating Dinamo Zagreb to keep their hopes alive.

Timothy Castagne stabbed in the crucial first goal in the 66th minute, before Mario Pasalic found the net shortly after Shakhtar full-back Dodo was controversially sent off in Kharkiv.

Robin Gosens grabbed an injury-time third as Shakhtar tired, sparking wild Atalanta celebrations in front of the visiting fans.

“It will remain in the history of football and of this club. I think it’ll also stay long in the memory of everyone who was in the stadium,” captain Alejandro Gomez told Sky Sport Italia.

Atalanta’s win ensured that all 16 of the sides in the knockout stage are from Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues of England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France for the first time.

Dinamo needed to beat English champions City to progress, but despite taking an early lead through Dani Olmo, were sent packing by a Gabriel Jesus hat-trick before teenage midfielder Phil Foden wrapped a 4-1 win for Pep Guardiola’s side.

Leave a comment