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Atletico Madrid took a big step forward towards the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, beating Juventus 2-0 over Wanda Metropolitano Madrid in the first leg. Jose Gimenez and Diego Godin closed Cristiano Ronaldo throughout the match and scored goals in the second half.
The defenders of both teams dominated the debates, but the hosts were the best and increased their power in attack after the break. Former Bianconeri Alvaro Morata scored a goal from the video assist before Gimenez and Godin scored a few minutes apart.
The two teams will meet at the return match in Turin on 12 March.
Ronaldo Trolls, but Atletico Defense has the last word
Ronaldo and his teammates on both sides were relatively calm Wednesday in a defensive stalemate at the height of the expectations of most fans.
The former Real Madrid player entered the match with a sublime record of 22 career goals against Atletico, per game. FOX Soccer.
The Rojiblancos did a phenomenal job of blocking the 34-year-old and doubling him throughout the fight. When he found space, Godin made a fantastic effort to catch up with him as soon as possible to deny him an opportunity to shoot.
The culmination of Ronaldo's night was no doubt his lagging behind local fans, reminding them of the number of leagues he won by raising five fingers (American viewers only).
At the end of the evening, Ronaldo's best goal came from a decisive play – his free kick was blocked by Jan Oblak and his best contribution was a superb center that Leonardo Bonucci should have converted.
There is no doubt that Godin, Gimenez and his company had the last word, and if VAR had been a little more helpful, Atletico would have traveled to Turin with an even greater lead.
At the moment, they are tied by two and have not conceded a goal to the outside, despite the rapprochement of Federico Bernardeschi in the final minutes and the head of Bonucci in the first period.
Diego Costa and Thomas Partey will be suspended for the return match, but attention will be focused once again on the defense of Atletico, who seems unlikely to concede two goals against a missing Juventus team cruelly creative.
Their defense also seems much more vulnerable than in recent years and should not remain virgin in Turin.
Juventus will travel to Bologna on Sunday, while Atletico will host Villarreal.