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Sport Atalanta stun Shakhtar to reach Champions League last 16

23:15  11 december  2019
23:15  11 december  2019 Source:   reuters.com

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Atalanta sealed their passage to the Champions League last - 16 for the first time despite failing to win any of their first four group stage games.

Atalanta reached the Champions League last 16 in their first season in the tournament on Wednesday after a 3-0 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk in Group C. The defending Ukrainian league and cup champions , who play their home matches in the city of Kharkiv due to the ongoing conflict in

German midfielder Robin Gosens scored his first-ever Champions League goal to put the cherry on the cake of a fine performance © Gleb Garanich/Reuters German midfielder Robin Gosens scored his first-ever Champions League goal to put the cherry on the cake of a fine performance

(Reuters) - Atalanta completed an astounding turnaround in their Champions League fortunes with a 3-0 victory at Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday that sent the Italians through to the knockout stages despite having lost their first three Group C games.

Timothy Castagne bundled home a finish midway through the second half before Dodo was sent off for the hosts, and goals inside the final 10 minutes from Mario Pasalic and Robin Gosens wrapped up the three points.

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Champions League last 16 : Qualified teams, draw & when do the matches take place? Group A. Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid have already sealed qualification to Shakhtar will progress if they win at home to Atalanta , though a draw will suffice unless Man City lose to Dinamo Zagreb. Group D.

Dodo has started Shakhtar 's last two Champions League matches and is expected to continue at right-back. Manchester City have already secured their spot in the last - 16 of the Champions League , with Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb and Atalanta all vying to finish second.

The victory lifted Atalanta from the bottom of Group C to second place on seven points, one ahead of Shakhtar, who finished third after Dinamo Zagreb (five points) lost 4-1 at home to group winners Manchester City (14) in the other fixture.

Gian Piero Gasperini has been the mastermind behind Atalanta's resurgence since 2016 © Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images Gian Piero Gasperini has been the mastermind behind Atalanta's resurgence since 2016

Gian Piero Gasperini's side, playing in the competition for the first time in Atalanta's history, started at a frantic pace and had the better early chances.

Yet Pasalic could only muster a weak finish from a tight angle when the visitors failed to take advantage of a loose pass from the home defence, before Luis Muriel pulled a volley wide.

Shakhtar were left frustrated after 15 minutes when Viktor Kovalenko smashed home a finish, only for the goal to be disallowed for offside in the build-up.

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Europe» UEFA Champions League - 2019/2020 - Champions League Grp. Dinamo Zagreb-Manchester City Shakhtar Donetsk- Atalanta .

Shakhtar Donetsk- Atalanta live incidents, goals, cards, substitutions, lineups, statistics, formations. Add your favourite leagues and cups here to access them quickly and see them on top in live scores.

Timothy Castagne broke the deadlock in Ukraine © Gleb Garanich/Reuters Timothy Castagne broke the deadlock in Ukraine

Then Junior Moraes' point-blank header was denied by a fingertip save from Atalanta's Pierluigi Gollini seven minutes before the break.

Atalanta were denied by the offside flag when Castagne bundled in Gomez's cross on 66 minutes, but a lengthy check from the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) saw the decision overturned and left the Italians with one foot in the knockout stages.

Things went from bad to worse for the home side when Dodo was sent off in the 77th minute after catching Remo Freuler in the face with a flailing arm.

The Italian side were bottom of Group C going into the last round of fixtures, but their steely performance and Man City's win sees them progress to the Champions League last 16 © Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images The Italian side were bottom of Group C going into the last round of fixtures, but their steely performance and Man City's win sees them progress to the Champions League last 16

Pasalic then nudged in a low free kick with 10 minutes remaining, before Gosens made it three deep in stoppage time when he pounced on a slack defensive header to volley in from close range.

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Roundup: Atalanta stun Shakhtar to qualify. Atalanta won 3-0 away to Shakhtar Donetsk to take second place in Group C – despite losing their first three group games by an aggregate score of 11-2. Dinamo Zagreb 1-4 Manchester City: Champions League – live!

Uefa Champions League Live Stream. Paris Saint Germain - Galatasaray. Atletico Madrid - Lokomotiv Moscow. Shakhtar Donetsk - Atalanta .

(Editing by Ian Chadband)

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