Atalanta and Villarreal shared the points on Matchday 1 of the 2021/22 Champions League campaign as they drew 2-2 in an entertaining Group F encounter at the Estadio de la Ceramica in Spain on Tuesday night, with Robin Gosens netting a crucial late equaliser.
La Dea took an early lead when Duvan Zapata showed his strength to hold the ball up and lay off to Remo Freuler to fire low past Geronimo Rulli, but despite a string of saves from Juan Musso, conceded a 39th-minute equaliser from Manu Trigueros, who capitalised on a loose ball to finish.
However, despite Zapata striking the crossbar on 53 minutes, the second period was more subdued, until the La Liga side made Atalanta pay for losing possession with Arnaut Danjuma firing home on 73 minutes. The Serie A side regained their composure, though, and rewarded when Gosens drifted into the box finish from close range eight minutes from time.
Villarreal substitute Francis Coquelin was sent off late on but the hosts nearly snatched victory, only for Musso to perform more heroics in injury-time.
Atalanta welcome Young Boys to Bergamo in two weeks’ time.