Europa League title-holder Villarreal, coached by Unai Emery, returned to the Champions League group stage for the first time in ten years and hoped to win against a formidable team of Atalanta, who had won. five of his last six C1 away matches.
Yet it took seven short minutes. Leading two goals to one, the Spaniards thought they would win their first victory since October 2008 (6-3 against Aalborg), but the German Robing Gosens put an end to this dream by equalizing from the left.
Gosens equalized at the very end of the match
Mistreated early in the game, Capua’s partners, fairly discreet throughout the hour of play that he spent on the field, conceded a first goal from Freuler (6th) after a shot from the right that touched first the post.
Villarreal equalized just before the break thanks to a recovery from the left of Trigueros (39th). The game was then balanced and Zapata, already involved in Atalanta’s first goal, sent a header on the crossbar (54th) before the players of Unai Emery regained the advantage on a good recovery of the Dutch Danjuma, came into play a few minutes earlier (60th).
The Spaniards thought they had done the hard part. But Gosens, omnipresent, decided otherwise …