Juventus’s Champions League mission stalled on Wednesday as Atletico Madrid secured a 2-0 victory from a thrilling first leg at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Cristiano Ronaldo returned to the Spanish capital, where he enjoyed unprecedented success in this tournament with Real, but it was their rivals celebrating at the final whistle as goals from Jose Gimenez and Diego Godin put Atletico within sight of the quarter-finals.This was a victory that Diego Simeone's side fully deserved. Antoine Griezmann had hit the crossbar while VAR twice intervened, correctly, in Juve's favour, cancelling a first-half penalty for a foul on Diego Costa and then ruling out an Alvaro Morata header shortly before Gimenez struck.
Juve are certainly not dead and buried yet, particularly given Costa and Thomas Partey will both be suspended for the return in Turin after each picked up yellow cards here.
But the failure to score an away goal, and their clear inferiority for much of the second half, does not bode well for their hopes of a comeback.
Defeat in the last 16 for either team would be unthinkable, for Atletico, who know the final will be played here, at their own stadium, on June 1.
And for Juventus, whose wait for Europe's premier prize has now entered its 23rd year, when expectations are higher than ever given they now boast the tournament's most prolific ever player.
Ronaldo, though, endured a disappointing night, suffocated from the outset as he was clattered by Godin and then outmuscled by Juanfran down the left.His best contribution was an early, driven free-kick from 30 yards that had to be pushed over by Jan Oblak.
Costa was his bristling self and almost won a penalty when referee Felix Zwayer thought he was tripped by Mattia de Sciglio. But VAR showed he had not only exaggerated the contact but also extended his run into the area.