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Ronaldo, Juve in trouble

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Champions League football mission with Juventus stalled on Wednesday night as Atletico Madrid secured a deserved 2-0 victory in a thrilling last-16 first-leg clash at the Wanda Metropolitano.

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, the perfect chance to wrestle the trophy off Real in the very city they share.

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 out-muscled by Juanfran down the left.

source:the herald

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