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results, final 16, standings, Barcelona, ​​Europa League, snow, weather, Chelsea, Timo Werner

results, final 16, standings, Barcelona, ​​Europa League, snow, weather, Chelsea, Timo Werner


Atalanta’s Champions League showdown with Villarreal has been postponed until Friday due to heavy snowfall in Bergamo, the Italian club confirmed on Wednesday.

“#AtalantaVillarreal has been postponed due to the heavy snowfall. The match will be played tomorrow with kick-off time still to be determined by UEFA,” Atalanta said on Twitter.

According to reports in Italy, UEFA are likely to reschedule the match for an afternoon kick-off on Thursday.

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A cold snap has swept across northern Italy, and ground staff at Atalanta’s Gewiss Stadium were sweeping snow off the pitch in an attempt to make it playable.

However the icy conditions continued and the snow kept piling up on the pitch even as it was being pushed to the sidelines.

“Due to adverse weather conditions, the referee, in conjunction with the UEFA delegate and the teams, has decided to postpone the match between Atalanta and Villarreal in Bergamo,” European football’s governing body said in a statement.

“An announcement will be made in due course about the rearranged date and time for this match to be played.”

Atalanta sit third in Group F and must win the match in order to qualify for the last 16, while Villarreal only need to not lose to maintain qualification in second place behind Manchester United.

UEFA’s decision was met with loud whistles from Atalanta fans in the stands and a flare being thrown on the pitch, while Villarreal’s players applauded the small group of Spanish supporters shivering in the roofless away end.

Stadium employees blow the snow covering the pitch. (Photo by Isabella BONOTTO / AFP)Source: AFP

BARCELONA’S STUNNING EXIT

Meanwhile, Barcelona has failed to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League.

Barcelona traveled to Germany needing to beat Bayern Munich and would have qualified with a draw if Benfica failed to defeat Dynamo kyiv.

Instead, Barcelona slumped to a 3-0 defeat.

A Benfica loss would have also seen Barcelona qualify but they cruised to a 2-0 win.

The last time Barcelona was not in the knockout stages of the Champions League was way back in 2004, having failed to qualify after finishing sixth in La Liga the season prior.

The last time Barcelona failed to get through the group stage of the Champions League was in 2000-01.

Barca is now headed to the Europa League, having never played in the competition since it was rebranded in 2009.

Barcelona last played in the older UEFA Cup in its 2003-04 campaign.

MAN UTD DRAW DESPITE GREENWOOD STUNNER

Manchester United were held 1-1 by Young Boys on Wednesday as interim boss Ralf Rangnick blooded a host of youngsters in the Champions League.

With United already assured of top spot in Group F, Rangnick rested all of his key players, making 11 changes from the side that beat Crystal Palace in the first game of his reign.

Mason Greenwood gave a disjointed United the perfect start, but Fabian Rieder’s long-range strike just before half-time earned a point for the visitors, which was not enough to keep alive their chances of dropping into the Europa League.

Greenwood, 20, was the senior member of a front three also featuring 19-year-olds Amad Diallo and Anthony Elanga.

Rangnick comes with a reputation for trusting youth. He got an early taste of Greenwood’s predatory instincts as the striker acrobatically fired home Luke Shaw’s low cross just nine minutes in.

Juan Mata, a Spanish veteran at the other end of his career, was handed just his second start of the season.

Mata should have doubled United’s lead when he fired too close to Guillaume Faivre after more excellent work by Greenwood.

United fans have been clamoring for Donny Van de Beek to be given a regular run in the starting line-up in recent weeks.

The Dutchman was consistently overlooked by the sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but he did little to force his way into Rangnick’s plans with an error for the equaliser.

Van de Beek’s intended pass for Aaron Wan-Bissaka was intercepted by Rieder, who then fired into the top corner.

LAST-GASP GOAL SINKS CHELSEA

Chelsea blew their chance to finish top of Champions League Group H as Magomed Ozdoev’s stoppage-time equalizer forced the holders to settle for a dramatic 3-3 draw at Zenit Saint Petersburg.

Thomas Tuchel’s side had already qualified for the last 16 and were hoping to take first place to theoretically secure an easier draw in the knockout stages.

They were just seconds away from achieving their aim when Ozdoev fired home to leave Chelsea two points behind group winners Juventus.

Werner had put Chelsea ahead after 84 seconds with his club’s fastest ever Champions League goal.

Claudinho equalized and Sardar Azmoun handed Zenit the lead before halftime. Romelu Lukaku, making his first start since suffering an ankle injury against Malmo in October, equalized with his first goal in 11 club games since the Chelsea striker netted against Zenit in September.

Werner looked to have won it with five minutes left, but Ozdoev’s last-gasp goal added to Tuchel’s mounting problems.

After Chelsea’s damaging 3-2 defeat at West Ham knocked them off the top of the Premier League on Saturday, this was another setback for the Blues.

A long flight and temperatures well below zero made it a grueling trip for a team already running on fumes and a return trip to Saint Petersburg for the Champions League final in May must seem a long way off for Tuchel’s spluttering team at present.

Chelsea will face one of Ajax, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or the winner of the Lille, Salzburg, Sevilla and Wolfsburg group in the last 16.

With N’Golo Kante still absent due to a knee injury, Jorginho unavailable because of a nagging back problem and Mateo Kovacic testing positive for the coronavirus this week, Chelsea’s midfield was in tatters.

Timo Werner scored a double. (Photo by Olga MALTSEVA / AFP)Source: AFP

Tuchel made eight changes from the West Ham game, with Edouard Mendy replaced by Kepa Arrizabalaga after the Chelsea keeper’s costly mistake against West Ham.

Reece James, in superb form at right wing-back this season, was deployed in central midfield as Tuchel looked for a solution to his problems in that area, but the defender was a fish out of water for much of the game.

Saul Niguez has endured a difficult start following his loan switch from Atletico Madrid, but the Chelsea midfielder finally provided a positive contribution in the second minute.

Making a lung-bursting run from his unfamiliar left wing-back role, Saul’s shot was pushed away for a corner by Zenit keeper Mikhail Kerzhakov.

From Ross Barkley’s resulting set-piece, Andreas Christensen flicked on to Werner and he had the simple task of poking home from virtually on the goal-line.

So often this season, Chelsea have taken the lead without killing the game off and once again they were caught out in the 38th minute.

After Chelsea failed to clear their lines, Douglas Santos’s cross found the visitors’ defense flat-footed and Claudinho took full advantage with a glancing header past Kepa.

There was worse to come for Chelsea three minutes later.

Barkley surrendered possession too easily in midfield and Malcom’s pass split the Chelsea defence, with Azmoun beating the flimsy offside trap and rounding Kepa before slotting into the empty net.

Chelsea were in disarray at the back and it took good saves from Kepa to repel Azmoun’s strike and then Malcom, who threatened with a curler in the second half.

Largely anonymous for the first hour, Lukaku grabbed Chelsea’s equalizer in the 62nd minute.

Werner ran onto Barkley’s pass and Lukaku was just onside as he converted the German’s pass from close range.

Chelsea kept plugging away and looked to have won it in the 85th minute when Werner took Christian Pulisic’s pass and drilled a low finish past Kerzhakov from 12 yards.

But there was a sting in the tale as Ozdoev lashed home from the edge of the area four minutes into stoppage time.

JUVENTUS LEAPFROG CHELSEA WITH WIN

Juventus completed their Champions League group phase with a largely uneventful 1-0 win over Malmo which allowed them to qualify for the last 16 as Group H winners.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side leapfrogged Chelsea to claim top spot after Moise Kean headed the only goal of the game and Chelsea conceded a last-gasp equalizer at Zenit Saint Petersburg.

Malmo finish the group bottom with a single point after Italy forward Kean struck in the 18th minute with his first Champions League goal for Juve, a close-range header from Federico Bernardeschi’s delicate cross clipped in with the outside of his boot.

His goal put Juve on 15 points from their six group games, two more than Chelsea who alongside the Italians had already qualified for the knockouts.

There was precious little excitement on display on a night a cold snap swept across northern Italy, with ground staff at the Allianz Stadium having to sweep off mounds of snow in the hours before the match.

Kean had the best chance to add to his side’s total with eight minutes left when he failed to tap home on the rebound after Adrien Rabiot’s shot was fumbled by Ismael Diawara.

Top spot should give Juve an easier draw in the next round and allows them to end the group stage in a positive mood after being demolished by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last time out.



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