Atalanta vs. Villarreal postponed because of snow in Italy

BERGAMO, Italy (AP) — The Champions League match between Atalanta and Villarreal has been postponed to Thursday because of heavy snow in northern Italy.

The Group F match was originally scheduled to take place on Wednesday and kickoff was initially delayed by 20 minutes before it was decided to reschedule. The game will now kick off at 7 p.m. local time (1800 GMT) on Thursday.

Both clubs have domestic games this weekend, and the draw for the round of 16 is on Monday.

Snow fell most of the day in Bergamo and increased in intensity as kickoff approached. Ground staff continuously shoveled snow off the field and painted over the white lines with red paint as every effort was made to get the match underway.

However, the referee eventually decided — together with the UEFA delegate and the teams — to postpone the match.

The game is set to decide which team joins group winner Manchester United in the next round. Atalanta is a point behind second-place Villarreal and needs a win to advance as runner-up. A draw will be enough for Villarreal.

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