With the help of two own goals, Atletico Madrid defeated Feyenoord 3-1 on Tuesday to seal its spot in the knockout round of the Champions League a year after failing to get past the group stage.
The victory left Atletico with 11 points, one more than Lazio, which defeated Celtic 2-0 earlier Tuesday. Feyenoord stayed with six points, five more than Celtic.
Atletico finished fourth last season in a group with Porto, Bayer Leverkusen and Club Brugge, missing out on the Europa League as well. Before that, it had failed to advance past the Champions League group stage only once in nine seasons.
Atletico opened the scoring with a fluke own-goal in the 14th minute when Feyenoord defender Lutsharel Geertruida found his own net while unsuccessfully trying to move away from the path of the ball after a cross by Marcos Llorente. Geertruida tried to step back as the ball came falling near him just in front of the goal, but it touched his belly and went past the goalkeeper standing near him.
Atletico added to the lead with a beautiful looping shot from a tough angle by Mario Hermoso in the 57th, with the ball going across the area and finding the far corner.
Mats Wieffer pulled the hosts closer in the 77th before Santiago Giménez headed the ball into his own net for Atletico’s third goal.
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