20 February 2019
Juventus will have it all to fight for in the second leg fixture at Allianz Stadium in March, after they were stunned by goals from Jose Gimenez and Diego Godin.
CHANCES AT BOTH ENDS
Atletico’s desire to do well was evident from the get-go and they made a promising counter-attack in the opening five minutes, where Antoine Griezmann picked up the ball in midfield, skipped past a few defenders and tried to lob it towards his teammate, but Wojciech Szczesny had it covered when rushing off his line.
Cristiano Ronaldo then tested Jan Oblak in the ninth minute of the game when he fired in a powerful set-piece from range, that forced the stopper to make a save. Thomas Partey then had a good effort at goal six minutes later when he connected to the end of Giorgio Chiellini’s clearance. The Ghanaian fired in a low volley from the edge of the area, that saw Szczesny make the save.
The electric atmosphere inside the stadium was certainly spurring the hosts on, and they came close again when a ball came close to falling at the feet of Koke, but it was dealt with by the Bianconeri. Szczesny was called into action just before the half hour mark when Griezmann was tasked to take a free-kick on the left corner of the box after Diego Costa went to ground. The Frenchman rounded the wall and fired towards goal, but the Polish stopped pulled off a great save in the top corner.
The remaining minutes of the half was a cagey affair, with neither side breaking the deadlock.
VAR SAYS NO GOAL
Diego Costa threatened immediately after the break with one of his best chances of the night, when he picked the ball from above the halfway line, ran towards goal, shoved Leonardo Bonucci off the ball, and had just Szczesny to beat. However, he fired wide of goal.
Atletico were then left stunned as to how they didn’t go a goal ahead when the Bianconeri shot-stopper brilliantly tipped Griezmann’s effort onto the crossbar. The ball then fell down in line with the host’s attackers, but Chiellini made a crucial interception.
Ronaldo tried to respond with an effort of his. He accelerated away from Atletico’s defence before seeing his shot blocked.
Atletico thought they had taken the lead in the 70th minute when Alvaro Morata had headered the ball into the back of the net. The goal was then reviewed by VAR, and it was deemed a no goal for a shove on Chiellini in the back by the Spaniard.
ATLETICO SECURE FIRST LEG RESULT
The Madrid outfit found the back of the net a few minutes later with a goal from Jose Gimenez, following a number of tussles inside the box, who head his effort past the goalkeeper. Moments later, Los Colchoneros found themselves celebrating again. A free kick was sent into the box, Mario Mandzukic attempted to clear it, but it fell to Diego Godin’s feet, who fired on the volley at the near post to beat his marker, leaving it all to play for in the return leg at Allianz Stadium for the Bianconeri.
Atletico Starting XI: Oblak; Juanfran, Gimenez, Godin, Filipe Luis; Saul Niguez, Partey (Lemar ’58), Rodri, Koke (Correa 66’); Diego Costa (Morata ’57), Griezmann
Substitutions: Adan, Arias, Kalinic, Correa, Lemar, Savic, Morata
Juventus Starting XI: Szczesny; De Sciglio, Bonucci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Bentancur, Pjanic (Can ’72), Matuidi (Cancelo ‘85); Dybala (Bernadeschi 79’), Mandzukic, Ronaldo
Substitutions: Perin, Cancelo, Caceres, Rugani, Spinazzola, Emre Can, Bernardeschi
Referee: Zwayer (GER)
Yellow card: Diego Costa ‘8, Partey ’45, Griezmann ‘88