UEFA Champions League: Cristiano Ronaldo silenced by Atletico Madrid


Cristiano Ronaldo Joins Juventus Getty, Giphy

Juventus FC gave up their two goal lead against Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano in Matchday 1 of the UEFA Champions League. The match ended in a 2-2 draw. Cristiano Ronaldo could have emerged as the hero of the match, had he utilised the brilliant opportunity that he got in the 94th minute.

Until half-time, the scoreline was blank. In the second half, things fell under Juve’s control as the Serie A champions took the lead in the 48th minute, thanks to Juan Cuadrado’s blinder. On 65th minute, Blaise Matuidi added one more to the Bianconeri’s account. No one could have imagined at that point, that the home side will draw the game. However, the Spaniards had some other plans.

Stefan Savic’s goal in the 70th minute allowed Atletico to rally. With Hector Herrera scoring an equaliser in the 90th minute, the Madrid crowd started celebrating. Approximately 4 minutes after that, Ronaldo used his amazing dribbling skills to get past the opponents’ defenders. He raised hopes for the visitors, only to go in vain as he kicked the ball into the wrong side of the post.

Hector Herrera's 90th-minute header
Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny (L) couldn’t keep out Hector Herrera’s 90th-minute header as Atletico Madrid snatched a 2-2 draw

Elsewhere during the match, questions were raised regarding the referee’s decision to continue play despite a clear handball committed by Juventus centre-back Leonardo Bonucci. When Atletico star Diego Costa argued the matter with the referee, the latter showed him a yellow card.

Herrera’s equaliser resulted from a tactical error committed by the visitors, as Juventus defenders left him unmarked while Kieran Trippier was taking the corner kick. The moment’s importance could be felt by the way Atletico manager Diego Simeone reacted on the sideline.

As Fox Sports Asia reports, Atletico’s players never gave up even when they were trailing 0-2 with just a mere 21 minutes remaining before the end of the game. Their persistence prevailed as none of the players gave up on chasing the ball. They weren’t afraid to tackle their opponents and it seemed like they wanted a win badly. However, they ended up under a lot of pressure after conceding two early goals.

Last year, these two sides met in the round-of-16, when the Italian side outshone Atletico 3-2 on aggregate to move forward into the UCL Quarter Finals. They will now meet each other again on November 26 in the second round of the group stage.