Tuesday 26 March, 2019

Ronaldo held scoreless in Madrid as Atletico beat Juventus

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo lies on the ground during the Champions League round of 16 first leg football match against Atletico Madrid at te Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019.

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo lies on the ground during the Champions League round of 16 first leg football match against Atletico Madrid at te Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019.

Atletico Madrid kept Cristiano Ronaldo in check on Wednesday, defeating Juventus 2-0 in the first leg of the Champions League's round of 16.

Defenders Jose Maria Gimenez and Diego Godin scored late goals to give Atletico the win in a game in which video review played a key role, with two big calls going against the hosts.

Ronaldo, jeered nearly every time he touched the ball, had a quiet performance in his first match in the Spanish capital since leaving Real Madrid last summer. He came close to scoring with a booming shot from a free kick less than 10 minutes into the match but had few opportunities after that.

Heavily marked from the start, Ronaldo wasn't able to add to his good record against the old rival, which he helped eliminate in four straight seasons in the Champions League while playing for Real Madrid.

Atletico had a first-half penalty reversed by VAR after it determined that Diego Costa was fouled outside the area, and the referee also consulted video replays on the pitchside monitor before disallowing a second-half goal by Alvaro Morata for a push on Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini.

The hosts dominated after an even first half at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, and both Costa and Antoine Griezmann missed clear scoring chances before Gimenez found the net from inside the area in the 78th and Godin added to the lead with an angled shot in the 83rd.

Ronaldo was loudly booed when his name was announced before the match, and he drew even louder jeers from the Atletico crowd when he prompted the game to be interrupted because he remained on the ground after getting his foot stepped on later in the first half.

Ronaldo almost scored when his long-range free kick forced Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak to make a difficult save in the ninth minute. He had another attempt with a deflected shot a few minutes later, but didn't come close to the Atletico goal again until a late header sailed over the crossbar.

Ronaldo had not played in Madrid since joining Juventus in a blockbuster transfer at the end of last season. He had played with Real Madrid for nearly a decade, leading the Spanish powerhouse to four Champions League titles in five seasons, including in the last three.

Entering Wednesday's match, Ronaldo had scored 22 goals in 31 matches against Atletico in all competitions. In the Champions League, he helped Madrid beat Atletico in two finals (2014 and 2016), one quarterfinal (2015) and one semifinal (2017). He had scored four goals in six Champions League games against the city rival.

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