Champions League Round of 16
A controlled second half of the match saw Atletico Madrid with a strong lead after the first leg. The colchoneros calmed down a boisterous Cristiano Ronaldo for his return to the city where we won the last Champions League titles with Real Madrid.
The Portuguese was not welcomed. The fans booed him and he had a rough night for himself. Cristiano Ronaldo was overall rather quiet for his first return in Madrid. The first half between Atlético Madrid and Juventus was very undecided with both teams being cautious.
Yet, the home team pressured a lot more during the second half. It allowed them to score two goals in the last 20 minutes to win 2-0. The results puts the Italian champions against the wall as they will try to turn the tie around in Turin.
The Final will be played at the Wanda Metropolitano on June 1st. This is a day Atlético players and fans dream of in search of their first Champions League crown. The result did not prevent Ronaldo from reminding his former rivals he has won 5 Champions League whereas Atletico are still trying to put its name of the trophy for the first time…
Atlético coach Simeone on the big win:
“It was a very strong team performance. We try to improve every day. The tie is not over. We will have to suffer in Turin against a side that has incredible players. The team’s effort was outstanding, but we have to prepare for what’s ahead, knowing that there are still 90 minutes to go.
Juventus are a great team and we knew we had to give 200% of ourselves. We will travel to Turin with a great result. We know what we have to do over there.”
Juventus coach, Allegri, regrets the late goals:
“We played a bad second half, making the mistake of going after them. We had already risked ourselves on a breakaway and a lost ball, but the fact is that in the second half we did not have a shot on goal.”
They are more used playing games of this type than us: they remained inside the game even if there were no big jolts, while we made mistakes. However, we couldn’t be any worse than in the second half, so we must have confidence for the return leg. We knew that Atletico makes you play “badly”, and to beat them you need to stay on top.”
Now there is disappointment, but we must believe that we can overturn it. It will not be easy, it will take a great game, in which we will have to be good at moving the game more. Remaining orderly, which we did not do tonight, even after suffering the second goal, which in fact left us risking more. However, the 2-0 can be overturned, it is useless to cry on it.”