Defensive duo earn Atletico Madrid first-leg advantage

Defensive duo earn Atletico Madrid first-leg advantage

Late goals from Jose Gimenez and Diego Godin earned Atletico Madrid a 2-0 victory against Juventus in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

The Spanish club will defend a healthy advantage in Turin next month after Uruguay defenders Gimenez and Godin both struck in the space of five minutes deep into the second half at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

Atletico substitute Alvaro Morata had a goal ruled out against his former club, while German referee Felix Zwayer also reversed a first-half penalty decision for the Spanish club after consulting with the video assistant referee (VAR).

Ronaldo's blistering free-kick forced Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak into a brilliant early save as both sides showed their attacking intentions.

Juve threatened again through another long-range effort from Ronaldo and Leonardo Bonucci's header, while at the other end Thomas's thumping drive was turned away at full-stretch by Wojciech Szczesny.

Atletico striker Diego Costa, back in the starting line-up for the first time in nearly two months after foot surgery, felt he had won his side a 27th-minute penalty when he went tumbling under Mattia De Sciglio's challenge.

Referee Zwayer initially pointed to the spot, but reversed his decision after consulting VAR and awarded a free-kick just outside the box.

Antoine Griezmann's resulting set-piece was goal-bound until punched clear by Szczesny and it was Juve who went on to dominate the closing stages of a stop-start first half.

Costa spurned a gilt-edged chance to break the deadlock for Atletico five minutes into the second period, pulling his shot wide from inside the area after being played in by Griezmann.

Griezmann then raced on to Koke's through ball and forced another fabulous save from Szczesny, who pushed the France international's rasping shot onto the crossbar.

Costa, unavailable for the second leg following a first-half booking, was replaced by former Juve striker Morata in the 58th minute.

Atletico boss Diego Simeone sent on forwards Thomas Lemar and Angel Correa for Thomas and Koke shortly afterwards as he chased the breakthrough goal.

Morata, on loan from Chelsea, thought he had delivered when he headed home Filipe Luis's cross in the 70th minute.

But match official Zwayer consulted with VAR again and ruled Morata had fouled Juve defender Giorgio Chiellini with his arm and his decision to award the goal was reversed.

Atletico refused to falter, though, and took the lead their second-half display deserved in the 79th minute.

Lemar's corner fell into a crowded area and when Mario Mandzukic's attempted clearance hit the prone Bonucci, Gimenez smashed the ball into the bottom corner.

Atletico pounced again to stun Juve with a crucial second goal four minutes later after another botched clearance by Mandzukic, whose hooked attempt fell to Godin and he buried his shot from the edge of the six-yard box.

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