Atletico Madrid’s incredible home form in Champions League knockout rounds continued despite their game against Juventus being the first at the Wanda Metropolitano as they secured a vital 2-0 win in their last 16 first leg.
Prior to Wednesday’s game, Diego Simeone was unbeaten in 11 home knockout games with the Rojiblancos, a run which has seen his side dispatch of AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Chelsea in the process.
It was always likely to be a game full of fouls and misdemeanours and Diego Costa, just eight minutes his return from a long-term injury, picked up a yellow card that rules him out of the return leg in Turin. With Cristiano Ronaldo set to hit a freekick, the forward charged out of the wall and saw yellow.
The tactical chess match predicted beforehand proved to be exactly that and the game’s first chance was all the result of work from the Portuguese. Ronaldo tried an ambitious effort that ended up going behind for a corner, from which Leonardo Bonucci had a free header that he should have done better with.
Juve were at sixes and sevens at the beginning of the second half and Costa should have put the hosts ahead and had he more minutes under his belt he likely would have. Antoine Griezmann pounced on a Giorgio Chiellini error and set him through. The Brazil-born Spain forward got clear of Bonucci, holding him off, but completely sliced his strike as he approached Wojciech Szczesny when he would have expected to find the net.
Atleti had another chance moments later and this time they had Szczesny to thank. Griezmann found space to get on the end of a bouncing ball. He looked to have executed an excellent lob over the Pole but the Juventus No.1 just got a finger on the ball to tip it onto the crossbar before Chiellini cleared.
A familiar face looked to have broken the deadlock against Juventus as Alvaro Morata thought he had given Atletico a lead with an excellent header, only for VAR to intervene and referee Felix Zwayer to overturn his decision to award the goal upon second viewing.
Morata did play a part in the La Liga side going ahead shortly after though. A corner was met by the ex-Juventus forward, who climbed higher than anyone to aim a low header at goal. Mario Mandzukic stuck out a leg and blocked the effort, but it fell for Jose Gimenez who was able to convert despite being in a crowded box with bodies all around him.
Mandzukic then inadvertently assist a second goal for his former club, this time teeing up Gimenez’s central defensive partner Diego Godin. Again sticking out a leg, the Croatian put the ball back into the path of the Atleti captain, who took advantage of Szczesny alreay having gone to ground by firing in from an angle.
- The last five times Juventus have lost a CL first leg of a knockout stage in European competitions, they have been eliminated.
- Juventus have lost two consecutive games in a single Champions League campaign for the first time since October 2014 (v Atletico Madrid and Olympiakos).
- Juventus have failed to score in a Champions League last 16 match for the first time since 2008/09 campaign (1-0 v Chelsea).
- Juventus have failed to score in two of their last three away games (all competitions), as many as in their previous 37.
- Atletico Madrid are the only side faced at least three times against which Juventus have never found the net.
- Each of the last four Juventus’ CL defeats with 2+ goals margin came against Spanish opponents.
- Six of the last seven Champions League goals conceded by Juventus have come from set-piece situations.
- The first six players with the most touches in the match are Juventus’ players.
- Leonardo Bonucci played his 500th club game.
- Giorgio Chiellini has overtaken Gianluca Pessotto as the 4th Juventus player with the most CL/European Cup appearances (69).