Juventus
    01.10.2014 23:17 - in: Champions League S

    Atletico edge Juve in Madrid

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    A resilient Bianconeri display at the home of last year’s finalists is undone by Arda Turan’s winner 15 minutes from time

    A solitary Arda Turan effort on 75 minutes saw Atletico Madrid emerge victorious from this evening’s Champions League clash with Juventus at the Vicente Calderon.

    The Bianconeri will have every reason to rue their misfortune after a resilient defensive display at the home of last year’s finalists was ultimately undone inside the game’s dying embers.

    Turan it was who decided an affair lacking in genuine goalscoring opportunities, guiding Juanfran’s cross beyond Gigi Buffon for a result that places all four Group A teams on three points following Malmo’s win over Olympiacos in Sweden.

    Needing to regain control of their Champions League destiny after suffering an opening day defeat in Greece, Atletico Madrid, with Diego Simeone back on the touchline, started in the ascendency and aimed to put their visitors under pressure with some early pressing.

    But aside from Raul Garcia’s header, ushered harmlessly wide by Buffon, chances of note were in short supply as both sides attempted to gain the measure of each other during a scrappy introduction to the game.

    A specific threat pinpointed by Massimiliano Allegri in his pre-match press conference - that of Mario Mandzukic - reared its head on 24 minutes when the former Bayern Munich frontman unleashed a firm effort from outside the area that Buffon was equal to.

    Back came the visitors and Paul Pogba, clearly relishing the hustle and bustle of the midfield battle, fashioned their only decent chance of the first-half, curling a right-footed strike just wide of the mark from the fringes of the box.

    Galvanised by a few Allegri words during the half-time break, Juventus emerged for the second 45 minutes with greater purpose, moving the ball around with added intensity in their attempts to unsettle the hosts’ backline.

    This increased thrust enabled them to fashion an opportunity for Pogba to pull the trigger from all of 35 yards, but the midfielder was unable to guide his set-piece on target.

    Yet the danger of being caught cold by a well-drilled Atletico outfit still remained, with Buffon having to remain alert to scramble the ball clear after Martin Caceres had inadvertently diverted towards his own goal following a spell of pressure in and around the penalty area.  

    And, despite looking comfortable as the clock ticked down towards the final 15 minutes, Juventus were to eventually find themselves on the receiving end of one of Atletico’s notorious deliveries from wide areas, Arda Turan nudging Juanfran’s cross past a stranded Buffon to put the hosts in front.

    Allegri’s response was to send Roberto Pereyra, Alvaro Morata and Sebastian Giovinco on for a final assault which almost drew an equaliser when Stephan Lichtsteiner’s cross clipped a red and white shirt before being clawed away to safety by Miguel Angel Moya.

    But the equaliser failed to materialise and the Bianconeri will now look to Sunday’s Serie A showdown with Roma before placing the focus back on their European campaign when they travel to meet Olympiacos in Athens on Wednesday 22 October.    

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