By Richard Morgan
Football journalist - @Richiereds1976
Atletico Madrid 2-0 Juventus: Jose Gimenez and Diego Godin strikes give Atleti first-leg advantage
Last Updated: 20/02/19 11:10pm
Late goals from Jose Maria Gimenez and Diego Godin saw Atletico Madrid beat Juventus 2-0 in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday.
The match had appeared to be heading for a goalless draw at the Wanda Metropolitano, before Atleti defenders Gimenez (78) and Godin (83) gave Diego Simeone's side a huge advantage heading into the second leg in Turin on March 12.
That will come as a big relief to the home team, who had earlier seen substitute Alvaro Morata's 70th-minute header ruled out by the Video Assistant Referee for a push on Giorgio Chiellini.
Atletico: Oblak (7), Juanfran (8), Gimenez (8), Godin (9), Luis (7), Thomas (7), Koke (7), Rodrigo (7), Saul (7), Griezmann (8), Costa (6)
Subs: Correa (6), Lemar (7), Morata (7)
Juventus: Szczesny (6), De Sciglio (6), Chiellini (8), Bonucci (7), Sandro (6), Pjanic (6), Matuidi (6), Bentancur (6), Dybala (6), Mandzukic (6), Ronaldo (7)
Subs: Cancelo (6), Can (6), Bernardeschi (6)
Man of the match: Diego Godin
Cristiano Ronaldo, with only one goal in his last eight Champions League games, tested Jan Oblak with an early long-range free kick which the Atletico goalkeeper did well to tip over.
It was Atleti, though, who thought they had the best chance to open the scoring before half-time when referee Felix Zwayer decided that Mattia De Sciglio had tripped Diego Costa just inside the box.
However, after consultation with the VAR, the correct decision was made with the Juve right-back having clearly caught Costa just outside the area, with Wojciech Szczesny then turning Antoine Griezmann's free-kick behind.
Then was more VAR controversy after the break as Atleti thought they had finally made the breakthrough when Morata powered home Filipe Luis' inviting cross from the left.
But after being directed to check the 'goal' on the touchline monitor, the German official decided the former Juventus striker had pushed Chiellini in the back just prior to scoring.
Diego Costa started in attack having returned to action in Atletico's win at Rayo Vallecano last weekend. But Lucas Hernandez missed out, while Juanfran was preferred at full-back to Arias.
For Juve, Miralem Pjanic had recovered from a fever, Mattia De Sciglio got the nod at right-back and left-back Alex Sandro, who missed their last game with Frosinone, returned having trained on Tuesday. But winger Juan Cuadrado was still missing with injury, while Sami Khedira did not travel to Spain after tests discovered an irregular heartbeat.
Atleti's frustrations did not last long, however, as minutes later they opened the scoring after a bit of ping ball in the visitors' defence following a left-wing corner, with the ball dropping invitingly at the feet of Gimenez, who found the net from close range.
The hosts soon doubled their lead, taking a firm grip on the tie in the process, as Griezmann's free-kick fell to Godin six yards from goal, although the Uruguayan's shot still took a big deflection off Ronaldo on its way into the net.
- Atletico have never lost a home game in the knockout stages of European competition under Diego Simeone (P16 W12 D4 L0)
- Juventus have faced Atletico more times without winning than against any other opponent in the Champions League (P3 W0 D1 L2)
- Atletico have kept a clean sheet in all three of their Champions League games against Juventus - the only other side to keep three in a row against them in the competition is Barcelona (all three in 2017)
- Juventus have lost consecutive games in the same Champions League campaign for the first time since October 2014 (0-1 v Atlético Madrid and 0-1 v Olympiakos)
- Since the start of the 2013-14 season, Atletico Madrid have kept 12 clean sheets in the Champions League knockout stages - only Real Madrid (13) have managed more
Man of the Match - Diego Godin
The Uruguay centre back has not enjoyed the best of seasons in the Spanish capital, compared to his normal high standards.
However, on the evidence of this display, the central defender is back to his domineering best.
And as well as controlling the attacking threat of Ronaldo and Co, the 31-year-old also popped up with a crucial late goal - his first since October 2014 - that gives his side a great chance of progressing to the quarter-finals of Europe's premier club competition.
Atletico host Villarreal in La Liga, while Juve travel to Bolonga in Serie A, with both games taking place on Sunday afternoon.