Champions League: Juventus 0 – 0 Atlético
Goalless draw sees both sides go through to the knockout stages
Atlético Madrid have clinched top spot in Group A of the UEFA Champions League after a 0-0 draw with Juventus in Turin on Tuesday evening.
Always the most likely result from the beginning – a draw suited both teams – and it’s a point that helps Juventus qualify for the knock-out stages along with los rojiblancos.
The first real chance of the match fell to the man missing when the sides met back in October. Carlos Tevez was brought down on the edge of the area by an enthusiastic Koke. Andre Pirlo stepped up but he could only drill the ball into a ten-man wall.
It was fairly even for the first couple of minutes, before Juventus grew into the game more and more.
Atleti caused Juventus the most problem after the bianconeri failed to clear a Gabi free kick. The ball fell to Koke who rushed a shot at goal, forcing an outstanding double save from Buffon.
Juventus were a whisker away from the lead a couple of minutes later, when a cross in from Pogba needed only a touch from Llorente to whistle past Moyá. However the ex-Athletic front man couldn’t get anything on it, and it was batted away for a Juve corner.
The Turin outfit went on to dominate possession for the rest of the first half, getting the ball into dangerous areas on the wings. The final ball was rarely good enough.
Although Juve were creating the most chances, it was Atleti who were fashioning the best. After the save from Koke earlier on, Buffon was again forced into action, this time from José Giménez.
A looping header from the Uruguayan after an Atleti free-kick had the Italian goalkeeper scrambling. Buffon managed to get both hands on it and tip it over for a corner.
He was called into action again moments later after a loose ball fell to Mario Suárez on the edge of the area. The Spaniard, starting in place of Tiago for Atleti, hammered the ball towards goal but Buffon was again equal to it.
For the most part, Atleti were happy to work on the counter attack. A promising break forward saw Raúl García working up a head of steam, before our now record appearance maker in Europe was brought down cynically by Arturo Vidal.
The Chilean should perhaps have been sent off after a number of reckless tackles, but he was shown only a single yellow to close out the first half.
Atleti tried to start the second half brightly, and found themselves with a corner early on. Gabi took it and managed to hit the nearside post with a beautiful in-swinging cross. Atleti seemed to be content to keep winning corners.
Juventus found themselves shooting from distance often. A nice flick from Tevez found Pogba in space, but the shot from the young Frecnhman is blocked by the outstanding José Giménez.
The Old Lady looked content to attack from range, whilst shoring it up at the back, making sure not to concede. Arturo Vidal tried his luck from long range, but Moya managed to get down and produce a save for the cameras.
Pogba was another to test Moya from distance, with a 30 yard pile-driver causing Moya some problems. The Spaniard got down and stopped the shot, but couldn’t keep hold of it, relying on the ever-present Godín to clear.
Some sloppy play from a tired Mandzukic led to another Vidal shot from distance. This time, Moya is able to produce a clean save.
Although there was some tired legs on the field, both coaches refrained from making any substitutes.
After this, the game seemed to peter out a little bit. Atleti looked content to take a drawer, knowing that this would suit both sides whatever the result in Greece. The last ten minutes of the game were a non-event.
In the other match in the group, there were a lot more goals, as twice Malmo got themselves back into the game against Olympiacos. However it was the Greeks that ran out 4-2 winners, but after Juventus secured a draw here tonight, it meant nothing in terms of qualification.
The draw for the knockout stages is made on the 15th December, and Atleti will face one of the runners-up from the other groups in the last 16.
What did you make of tonight’s game? Was a draw always the most likely result?
|Juventus||0 0||Atlético Madrid|
|UEFA Champions League|
|09 December 2014|