Own goals help Atletico advance, Immobile fires Lazio into last 16
Atletico Madrid booked their place in the Champions League last-16 Tuesday, a sumptuous volley from defender Mario Hermoso and two catastrophic own goals firing them to a thrilling 3-1 win over Dutch champions Feyenoord.
The Group E result also meant Italy's Lazio progressed to the knock-out phase after their own 2-0 win over Celtic, who were eliminated along with Feyenoord.
Buoyed by the ever intimidating atmosphere in De Kuip for what was a must-win match, Feyenoord started the brighter, with Gambian winger Yankuba Minteh nearly poking home after eight minutes.
Atletico missed a gilt-edged chance just minutes later, a silky move releasing Spain international striker Alvaro Morata who fluffed his one-on-one with the keeper.
But the Spanish giants were ahead on 14 minutes, a calamitous piece of defending silencing the rowdy Rotterdam crowd.
The Feyenoord defence failed to deal with an innocuous lobbed cross and the ball dribbled into the goal off right-back Lutsharel Geertruida after a mix-up with his 'keeper.
The hosts seemed shell-shocked and nearly let in Morata again but he somehow contrived to put his header wide.
Atletico came into the match in outstanding form and proved too much on the night for the Feyenoord defence, which struggled to cope with the movement of Morata and French star Antoine Griezmann.
The Dutch champions are no pushover, especially at home, and continued to press, furious that Minteh was not awarded a penalty when he went down in the box.
And it was Feyenoord that ended a pulsating first-half on top, giving manager Arne Slot something to work with at half-time.
Los Rojiblancos nearly gifted their opponents a goal themselves after the break, veteran Belgian international Axel Witsel being caught in possession but Santiago Gimenez couldn't score.
Feyenoord were punished minutes later as Atletico doubled their advantage with a wonder goal from defender Mario Hermoso, who volleyed home from an improbably tight angle.
The insurance goal knocked the stuffing out of the home side, as the Spanish side showed their class with sweeping moves that sliced open the Feyenoord defence.
"I am very happy for the players. Today, we knew how difficult our opponent would be," said Atletico coach Diego Simeone to Movistar.
Morata and Griezmann came close to putting the icing on the cake for Atletico before defensive midfielder Mats Wieffer rose highest at a corner to head home and give De Kuip some hope.
An uncomfortable final 12 minutes beckoned for the Spanish side, but another own goal put clear water between the two sides and sealed the result.
Defending a viciously whipped Atletico free kick, Feyenoord striker Gimenez headed beyond the reach of his own goalkeeper, completing a night of heartbreak for the Dutch champions and their fans.
Lazio moving on
Italy forward Ciro Immobile struck twice in the final 10 minutes at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome to lift Lazio past Feyenoord earlier on Tuesday.
Immobile's double, which took his all-competitions tally for the season to seven, was a rare high point for Lazio who are 11th in Serie A.
"When a team goes through a difficult period, your personal situation should take second place," assured Immobile.
"When I was on the bench, I just tried to see how I could help my team. We now need to find in the league the enthusiasm that we show in the Champions League."
Defeat in the Italian capital confirmed Celtic's exit from Europe's top club competition.
Brendan Rodgers' side will finish bottom of Group E following the defeat which left the Scottish champions with a single point from their five group matches.
Veteran striker Immobile broke the deadlock of a tense match in the 82nd minute when Gustav Isaksen's shot was deflected right into his path with only befuddled goalkeeper Joe Hart to beat.
And the 33-year-old made sure of the points three minutes later, taking down Isaksen's pass and shrugging off the Celtic defence before rolling home a neat finish.
Any hope of a Celtic comeback was finished once referee Halil Umut Meler denied their appeal for a stoppage-time penalty following a review of the pitch-side monitor.
- Juventus midfielder Pogba banned 4 years for doping
- Rampant Inter charge 12 points clear, Napoli hit Sassuolo for 6
- Dybala's hat-trick lifts Roma past Torino as Lazio slip up at Fiorentina
- Serie A roundup: Martinez's 100th goal keeps Inter rolling, Leao ends drought
- Napoli fail to reignite European hopes after last-gasp Cagliari equalizer