Atalanta kept their slim hopes of reaching the Champions League knockout stages alive as they claimed a deserved 2-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb.

Goals in either half from Luis Muriel and Alejandro Gomez earned the Serie A side their first Champions League victory, having been thrashed when the sides met earlier in the campaign.

Three points for Atalanta mean there is now a three-way fight for the second qualification spot behind group winners Manchester City heading into matchday six, despite Shakhtar Donetsk's draw at the Etihad Stadium.

Gian Piero Gasperini's side still trail both Dinamo and Shakhtar, who they must beat in the final game while hoping the Zagreb side fail to beat City. 

Atalanta made the more purposeful start on Tuesday and took a deserved 27th-minute lead.

The visitors looked to have escaped when Robin Gosens' thunderous volley cannoned off the crossbar, yet Dino Peric clumsily caught Muriel in his attempts to clear the rebound.

Muriel dusted himself down and made no mistake from the penalty spot, sending Dinamo goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic the wrong way with a cool side-footed effort.

The Colombian striker should have added to his tally before the interval, too, twice blazing presentable opportunities over the crossbar.

But within two minutes of the restart, Atalanta had doubled their advantage in some style as skipper Gomez cut in from the right, danced his way past Luka Ivanusec and drilled a low shot inside the left-hand post.

It was a dominant display from the hosts, who looked the more likely to grab the game's third goal, with Gomez thwarted by Livakovic late on.

Paulo Dybala scored a wonderful free-kick to earn Juventus a 1-0 home win over Atletico Madrid that secured top spot in Group D of the Champions League.

Atletico, knocked out by Juve last season, had the better of the first half but moments before the interval Dybala whipped a superb set-piece in from a narrow angle to open the scoring.

Although Joao Felix's introduction from the bench improved Atletico, it was Juve substitute Federico Bernardeschi who went closest to the game's second goal when he hit the post on Tuesday.

Juve, who welcomed back Cristiano Ronaldo, were already through but with 13 points Maurizio Sarri's side now cannot be caught at the summit with Atletico needing a win when the group stage ends next month.

Dybala had an early effort saved by Jan Oblak but Atletico had the better of the opening exchanges with Thomas Partey and Saul Niguez failing to hit the target with decent chances.

Wojciech Szczesny then briefly spilled Saul's shot only for the goalkeeper to beat Alvaro Morata to the loose ball, however Juve took the lead on the stroke of half-time.

From close to the touchline on the right side of the penalty box, Dybala whipped a superb strike past the wall and across Oblak into the roof of the net.

Joao Felix's arrival from the bench breathed new life into Atletico's attack however Juve went close to adding a second when Bernardeschi's low shot from 20 yards beat Oblak but not the upright.

A difficult day almost got worse for Atletico when Felipe's challenge on Ronaldo was checked by VAR, the defender avoiding a red card after appearing to stamp on the Portugal superstar.

Atletico should have snatched a draw deep in added time when Morata failed to convert Thomas Lemar's low cross, though replays suggested the striker was offside anyway.


What does it mean? Atletico have work to do

Juve were already through but have theoretically secured an easier tie in the next round, with Atletico still expected to join them.

They will need to win away to Lokomotiv Moscow, who are already confirmed as finishing bottom of the group, if they are to progress in the competition.


Dybala hot streak continues

Few players would have had the imagination to shoot from the position Dybala fired home a wonderful free-kick, the 10th time he has scored from a set piece for Juve.

The Argentina attacker has found the net three games in a row for Juve and is growing in confidence.


Morata offers little threat

Diego Costa's neck injury means Morata will have to lead the line for Atletico in the coming weeks, but the Spain striker struggled to make an impact against a rugged Juve backline led by the excellent Leonardo Bonucci.


What's next?

Sassuolo visit Juve in Serie A on Sunday, with Atletico hosting Barcelona in a huge LaLiga clash on the same day. The final round of Group D games on December 11 sees Juve go to Bayer Leverkusen, while Atletico are at home to Lokomotiv.

Inter coach Antonio Conte is confident a sustained improvement of the club's fortunes in Serie A will inspire a greater chance of success in Europe.

Since winning a Serie A and Champions League double in 2009-10 under Jose Mourinho, the club have failed to reclaim either prize, rarely even getting close.

The hiring of Conte has seen Inter take a step in the right direction, as they appear the only side capable of challenging the Serie A dominance of Juventus, who are chasing a ninth successive title.

Juve are a point clear of Inter at the summit after 13 matches, evidence of a marked improvement under Conte. But in the Champions League, life has been rather more difficult for the Nerazzurri.

Conte has often had to field criticism of his effectiveness in the Champions League and that is no different this term, having claimed just four points from as many games, though the coach is adamant improvement is within their grasp.

Speaking of Inter's Group F rivals to reporters on Tuesday ahead of the trip to Slavia Prague, Conte said: "Barca are LaLiga champions, they always go far in Europe. Dortmund are a top side, last year they made it hard for Bayern Munich [in the Bundesliga]. Slavia are, I think, 11 points clear - these sides are all winners, so that makes it very hard for us.

"But we know that in Serie A there are challenges. We have started our growth and development.

"By doing well in Serie A, we will then do well in Europe. We are at the start of our journey as a side, but we want to keep getting better.

"We want to stay in the competition, we want to progress. Experience for us at this level is important.

"We are always working hard. As of day one in pre-season, we have a clear identity as a side, everyone in the squad is pulling in the right direction.

"We will not change our idea, regardless of injuries. Everyone in the squad knows what I want. Each player is important to me. I have lots of faith in my players."

Inter head into Wednesday's game three points adrift of second-placed Borussia Dortmund, meaning failure to win could result in their elimination from the competition.

And while some might predict a straightforward win in Prague, Slavia proved in their draws against Inter and Barcelona they are capable of causing problems.

"Slavia made life hard for Dortmund and Barcelona, we found it hard in the San Siro meeting, but there is lots of motivation in the camp," Conte added.

"We are getting better all the time. We arrive here with confidence. We are more of a team now than in the first meeting.

"We are ready for this game. The result is important. The result is a consequence of the performance.

"If we play well then the result is usually good, so we focus on putting in a good performance. Our growth comes with good displays. I want us to be strong at both ends of the pitch."

Cristiano Ronaldo has been named in the Juventus team to face Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.

Ronaldo was absent from the weekend win at Atalanta in Serie A due to injury but will partner Paulo Dybala in attack, with Gonzalo Higuain left on the bench. 

The Portugal star had been substituted in successive league games prior to the international break, prompting rumours of a rift with Juve coach Maurizio Sarri.

Both men denied the speculation and Ronaldo has returned to the Juve side for the Group D game despite, with his team having already sealed a place in the next round.

Matthias de Ligt will also start in defence after Sarri suggested the Netherlands international would need to be assessed ahead of the game.

Joao Felix is only on the bench for Atletico as he continues to recover from an ankle injury, with Vitolo instead partnering Alvaro Morata in attack for Diego Simeone's side.

Ernesto Valverde has called for perspective over Barcelona's form, with his side top of LaLiga and on track to qualify for the next round of the Champions League.

Barca host Borussia Dortmund in Group F on Wednesday knowing a victory will be enough to book their progression, though they were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Slavia Prague earlier in the month.

While Barcelona have won seven of their past eight league games to sit clear of Real Madrid on goal difference, results such as a loss at Levante have raised questions over Valverde's future.

Frenkie de Jong told reporters that "we're not playing as badly as people think" and Valverde then agreed with the midfielder's assessment when he appeared at a news conference.

"Of course, when we don't play well there are things we have to improve, but you need perspective," Valverde said. 

Lionel Messi would clearly be the most deserving winner of the Ballon d'Or despite Virgil van Dijk's outstanding year, according to Barcelona team-mate Frenkie de Jong.

Liverpool centre-back Van Dijk was long considered the favourite for the prestigious individual honour having helped the Reds to Champions League glory last season.

Van Dijk has also impressed this term as Liverpool – agonisingly pipped to the 2018-19 Premier League title by Manchester City – have surged eight points clear at the summit.

However, Mundo Deportivo claimed on Tuesday that Messi has been told he has won the Ballon d'Or for the sixth time, meaning he will have edged out Van Dijk again having scooped FIFA's The Best Men's Player prize.

De Jong says there is no doubt Messi deserves the recognition.

"For me, I said it a lot but Messi is the best player in the world so he has to win it," he said. 

"Van Dijk had an amazing season, he is a great defender and one of the best players in the world.

"But Messi is above and he is by far the best."

De Jong completed his move to Camp Nou from Ajax in July and has been a standout performer in a Barca side who have failed to convince despite sitting top of LaLiga and Champions League Group F.

The Netherlands midfielder knows the team are capable of showing more consistency but is enjoying life in Catalonia ahead of Wednesday's visit of Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League. 

"I'm really happy to be here. It's everything I dreamed of. Of course we can play better, we're working as hard as we can and hopefully everyone can see [on Wednesday] that we're improving," said De Jong.

"We can play better, I think we have an amazing team, most of the best players in the world, so we know we can perform better but we're winning, first in the most difficult group in the tournament. We're not doing really, really bad but of course we can do better.

"We know we can improve, we talk about it a lot, we're training a lot. There's not a single game where a team made no mistakes so it's normal to make mistakes. I think we can improve a lot but we're not playing as badly as people think."

Ernesto Valverde's men have yet to make sure of a place in the knockout stages, although victory at home to Dortmund will get the job done. 

"We know it's really important, if we win we qualify, we're already first in the group," De Jong added.

"It's really important for us, qualifying for the next stage is the most important thing."

Jurgen Klopp is "not worried" about Mohamed Salah's ankle injury and hinted the Liverpool forward is in line to feature in Wednesday's Champions League clash against Napoli.

Salah was an unused substitute as the Reds won 2-1 at Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday, and Klopp indicated the rest has helped with the Egypt international's recovery.

Since picking up the injury during Liverpool's win over Leicester City in October, Salah has been on a reduced training schedule and opted out of international duty while Egypt played Kenya and Comoros in November.

Asked about Salah's situation ahead of the Napoli game, Klopp told a news conference: "Really good, [he] looked really good in training yesterday especially, after the game.

"Yesterday we didn't do too much so we'll see, but I'm not worried about it."

Klopp also provided an update on Joel Matip's knee injury, which has kept the 28-year-old defender out of action for over a month.

Matip's last appearance came in Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford on October 20 and Klopp refused to put a date on his return.

"This week is an important one, we will build, we have to measure the improvement of the healing with a scan probably," said Klopp.

"And then we will see how it is. From that moment, we can make decisions.

"It's nothing you can rush, you just have to wait. Our body is like this from time to time. So nothing new really about him."

Liverpool can make sure of progress to the Champions League knock-out phase with a win against Napoli, who beat them in the opening round of group games in September.

Yet Klopp warned his players against the temptation of looking forward to what for them might be a dead rubber against Salzburg in December.

The Reds are top of Group E, one point clear of Napoli and five ahead of Salzburg with two group games left to play.

Klopp said he is focused on his reigning European champions getting a result against Carlo Ancelotti's men, whose form has dipped in the last month.

"The biggest mistake we could make is thinking about what would happen if we win it," said Klopp. "That's the target, but it's the same for Napoli - if they win the game, they're through as well.

"I expect them to be really strong. They are a sensationally good football team. Yes, they didn't have the results they'd expect in the last couple of weeks, but they might feel a kind of relief that they can feel free in a game like this."

Cristiano Ronaldo has been named in the Juventus squad for Tuesday's Champions League home game against Atletico Madrid.

Ronaldo was a doubt for the Group D clash in Turin after missing Juve's win away to Atalanta in Serie A at the weekend.

But the Portugal superstar has been included in an initial 20-man squad, with Matthijs de Ligt and Federico Bernardeschi also making the list after head coach Maurizio Sarri suggested they needed to be evaluated for the game.

Ronaldo and Sarri have both denied there is a problem in their relationship after the attacker was substituted two league games running prior to the international break when Juve were chasing a winning goal.

Former Real Madrid forward Ronaldo has scored 2 goals against Atletico in all competitions, including four hat-tricks.

Two of those were scored in the Champions League, with a treble in March 2019 against Atletico turning the tie around for Juventus and booking a quarter-final spot.

Juve are top of Group D, three points clear of Atletico, and have already secured their place in the next round.

Antoine Griezmann revealed he is lacking confidence with decision making, while the Barcelona star said the relationship between himself and Lionel Messi is improving.

Griezmann has struggled to convince since arriving from LaLiga rivals Atletico Madrid in a €120million transfer at the start of the season.

The France international has scored four LaLiga goals and supplied three assists for Barca, however, his performances have been underwhelming.

Ahead of Wednesday's Champions League clash against Borussia Dortmund, Griezmann told UEFA.com: "I'm in the process of learning and understanding how my team-mates play as everything is new to me.

"I'm still trying to read the runs and off the ball movement from the likes of Luis Suarez, Leo Messi and Ousmane Dembele along with the midfielders. It's my intention to get to grips with this as soon as possible so I can offer my all to the team but at times it's tricky.

"At present when I get the ball I have a certain lack of confidence in when to pass or when to shoot on goal, this I'm sure is something that will change with the passing of time."

Much has been made about the relationship between Griezmann and superstar Barca captain Messi.

Last month, Griezmann admitted to finding it "difficult" to connect with Messi as neither of them are naturally big talkers.

"I'm pretty shy and sometimes have problems talking to others," Griezmann said. "It's rare that I strike up a conversation. Luis [Suarez], Leo and myself have had meals together and the relationship can only improve over time."

On Messi, Griezmann added: "He's the type of player that we're not going to see again for at least 40 years and it's a joy to watch him in action. It really is a privilege to play alongside him."

Bayern Munich interim boss Hansi Flick is targeting top spot in Champions League Group B but is open to rotating his side for Tuesday's trip to Red Star Belgrade.

The German champions have already booked a place in the knockout stages of the competition after winning their opening four matches.

Victory in Belgrade will be enough to secure first place and what on paper should be a more favourable last-16 tie against a runner-up from one of the other groups.

Flick, who has won three matches from three since taking caretaker charge earlier this month, is keen to get the job done against Red Star.

"We want to top the group tomorrow," he said at Monday's pre-match news conference. "I will keep all of my options open. Some players need to find their rhythm, others need a rest."

Jerome Boateng is back in contention after serving a suspension, while Thiago Alcantara is also part of the squad despite carrying a wrist injury.

"Boateng trained very well during the international break," Flick said. "He's another option for us, but I haven't decided yet who will play yet.

"As for Thiago, he hurt his wrist but is okay to play. He's a player you can always call upon and has many qualities. Bayern can be very happy to have him here."

Red Star star followed up a 5-0 defeat at Tottenham with a 4-0 loss at home to the same opponents last time out, but Flick is expecting a tough test in the Serbian capital.

"The atmosphere in this stadium is something special. I'm curious to feel that. We are looking forward to it. We know that this mood will be a very difficult game."

Leon Goretzka is in line to make his second Champions League appearance of the season on Tuesday and has urged his team-mates to maintain their winning momentum.

"It's a great feeling to win games, but it's even better to see the way we have been winning," he said.

"Even though we have already qualified, we want to win the game. We want to continue our run and win the group."

Lorenzo Insigne will miss Napoli's Champions League trip to Liverpool due to an elbow injury.

The 28-year-old suffered the problem during Saturday's Serie A game with AC Milan; he was replaced after 65 minutes of the 1-1 draw at San Siro.

Insigne has four goals and five assists in all competitions this season but has not been included in Napoli's 20-man squad for the match at Anfield.

Fabian Ruiz and Faouzi Ghoulam have been selected, however, despite training separately from their team-mates on Monday.

Carlo Ancelotti's side beat Liverpool 2-0 in the opening round of fixtures and can make certain of a place in the last 16 of the Champions League with victory over the Premier League leaders on Wednesday.

Cristiano Ronaldo has trained with Juventus and will be evaluated ahead of Tuesday's Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid, Maurizio Sarri has confirmed.

The Portugal striker sat out the unconvincing 3-1 win at Atalanta over the weekend as he continues to contend with a knee injury.

However, Ronaldo is seemingly in line to feature in the Group D contest against Atleti, an opponent the former Real Madrid star has scored 25 times against in his prolific career.

"Yesterday he did the training sessions with his team-mates," Sarri said. "He seems to be growing [stronger].

"We will evaluate it between today and tomorrow to see if we have solved it, but the fact that yesterday he did all the training with his team-mates is very positive.

"I think and hope there will be no repercussions."

Ronaldo's relationship with Sarri has been under the microscope in recent weeks, mainly due to the coach's decision to haul off his star forward in two straight matches when Juve were chasing a win prior to the international break.

The second of those games, a 1-0 victory over AC Milan, saw Ronaldo head straight down the tunnel and reportedly leave the stadium before the match had finished.

However, Sarri insists all is well between the duo and he has no objection to players showing frustration when being substituted.

"My relationship with Cristiano is good," he added. 

"If a player who has won so much is angry about being substituted it means he still has a lot of motivation and this is something positive.

"It is 25 years I have seen players get angry over substitutions."

Sarri, who confirmed Matthijs de Ligt and Federico Bernardeschi will also be evaluated before the game with Atleti, also explained why he does not foresee Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala lining up in the same XI any time soon.

"Playing Paulo, Gonzalo and Cristiano all together is difficult because of their characteristics, but all three know how to play really well and are comfortable with each other," he said.

"We have three strong strikers for two places. None of the three can play 65 games as seen in the early part of the season. Everyone will find a place."

Juve have already qualified for the knockout phase of the Champions League but know a win over Atleti will secure top spot in Group D.

"Right now I'm seeing the team play excellently in flashes and I would like to see some more continuity in certain aspects, but we must take into account the characteristics of the players," Sarri said. 

"We certainly have room for improvement. Against Atleti we can't worry about what they are going to do. 

"They are a difficult team to face but we must think about how important first place in the group is."

Matthijs de Ligt is a doubt for Juventus' clash with Atletico Madrid in the Champions League after suffering a dislocated shoulder in Saturday's 3-1 win over Atalanta.

Team-mate Douglas Costa will be sidelined for the Atletico game because of a thigh strain, Juventus indicated.

Victory in Bergamo was the Bianconeri's fifth in a row in all competitions and they are top of Serie A, one point clear of Inter, but the loss of De Ligt on top of Costa's absence would be a blow to head coach Maurizio Sarri.

Centre-back De Ligt has started 10 of 13 domestic league games this season, with Giorgio Chiellini's knee injury thrusting the €75million signing from Ajax into the spotlight.

Sarri will also monitor the fitness of forward Federico Bernardeschi, who was replaced after 26 minutes against Atalanta having suffered a bruised chest.

A statement on the official Juventus website said: "Following diagnostic tests carried out this morning ... it emerged that Matthjis de Ligt suffered a dislocated right shoulder in yesterday's match and has now began the appropriate therapies and recovery.

"Therapy and recovery also for Federico Bernardeschi, who suffered a bruise to the right hemithorax.

"Douglas Costa suffered a low-grade lesion of the semitendinosus muscle of the right thigh and has started rehabilitation treatment."

Juventus said that in winger Costa's case, it would take around 15 days for him to fully recover.

Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has warned coach Lucien Favre the club's situation is "more than unsatisfactory" and demanded improvements against Barcelona on Wednesday.

Dortmund are struggling for results in the Bundesliga and a 3-3 draw at home against bottom club Paderborn on Friday left them with just two wins from their last eight league matches.

The Champions League has provided welcome respite for Favre's men this season and they sit second in Group F, just one point behind Barcelona.

Victory at Camp Nou would ease pressure building on the coach's position.

While there has been no explicit suggestion of a change in coach at Signal Iduna Park, Zorc made it clear the board are concerned.

"Obviously the topic will be discussed publicly because our situation is more than unsatisfactory," Zorc told Funke Sport.

"Of course we will analyse that very intensively. But we are going to the match in Barcelona with Lucien Favre and we expect to see a significant increase in performance there.

"We need a performance. We finally need a good performance on the pitch so you can look forward."

Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke also chose to speak out after the Paderborn result, reassuring Favre he still has the club's backing.

However, he made it clear the team's current form would not be allowed to continue without consequences.

"Dear Lucien, you still have our trust," Watzke said at the club's AGM. "But in the end football is always defined by results.

"We all hope you and the team are able to turn this around. You have all the support we can give you."

Directing a stern message towards the club's players, he added: "Pull yourselves together and play like it is expected from Borussia Dortmund. You as a team must know that only words are not enough.

"It is your duty to let them be followed by actions."

Sadio Mane is enjoying the "easy" life with title hopefuls Liverpool because of the quality possessed by Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.

The Senegal star is Liverpool's leading Premier League scorer this season with seven goals and he has so far edged out his fellow Reds forwards in overall performance.

Statistics from Opta show Mane has played 21 key passes, compared to 14 from both Salah and Firmino, and his accuracy in finding team-mates across the whole pitch is also superior.

He has also won a greater number of tackles - Mane with 14, Firmino seven and Salah three - and made more interceptions (9-1-1).

But Mane says he is coping with the workload for the title front-runners thanks to considerable effort from Brazilian Firmino and Egyptian Salah.

"I always say it is very easy to work together," Mane told the official Liverpool FC magazine. "Personally, I just think myself very lucky to play alongside these great players.

"Every single player who plays alongside them would enjoy it because they are very good players and they make everything easy, so I just enjoy playing alongside them."

Mane believes the global language of football allows for fluency between Jurgen Klopp's prolific attackers.

"We are all from different countries and speak different first languages but I think football is one language and it is universal so everybody can speak it. It is the same with Mo, Bobby and myself," he added.

Liverpool face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park next Saturday in their next Premier League assignment, before taking on Napoli in the Champions League on the following Wednesday.

The club have announced the death of a player who captained Liverpool in the old Second Division in the 1958-59 season.

Johnny Wheeler died at the age of 91, Liverpool said. The midfielder made 177 appearances for the club and also played for Tranmere and Bolton, winning one England cap.

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