Atletico late show stuns Juventus
Champions League Group D, Wanda Metropolitano Stadium - Atletico Madrid (Savic 70', Herrera 90') 2 Juventus 2 (Cuadrado 48', Matuidi 65')
A brilliant second half saw Juventus score two lovely goals on the counter before Atletico flew back at them, Hector Herrera's late header earning a deserved draw.
Atletico had by far the better of a first half that couldn't rustle up the anticipated intensity, but then on 48 minutes, Leonardo Bonucci and Gonzalo Higuain combined to find Juan Cuadrado in the penalty area; he took a touch before pasting a pearler of a finish past Jan Oblak and into the top corner.
But Atletico refused to give in, the Diego Simeone used his substitutions wisely, Angel Correa and Vitolo giving his team renewed impetus. And, on 70 minutes, they found a livener, Jose Gimenez setting up Stefan Savic to nod home, before Hector Herrera, another sub who making his Atleti debut, hurled himself at a corner to equalise in the final minute of the match.
Do Atletico need a centre-back? Jose Gimenez is, was and will be a giant, but alongside him, Stefan Savic is serviceable but not in the same league as Diego Godin. Atletico's success has been built on the middle of their back line; that might no longer be possible.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Jose Gimenez (Atletico Madrid) Epitomises all that is good about his team: brave, strong, clever and full of character.
Jose Gimenez of Atletico Madrid challenges for the ball with Matthijs de Ligt of Juventus during the UEFA Champions League group D match between Atletico Madrid and Juventus at Wanda Metropolitano on September 18, 2019 in Madrid, Spain.Getty Images
Atletico Madrid: Oblak 6, Trippier 7, Savic 6, Gimenez 8, Lodi 6, Koke 6, Partey 5, Saul 5, Lemar 5, Felix 6, Costa 6. Subs: Correa 7, Vitolo 7, Herrera 7.
10’ - Brilliant from Costa, holding up for Felix who glides through midfield. He looks for Costa, but instead uses him as a decoy - two men are attracted to him - then, just as it looks like he's running out of room, he toe-pokes, futsal and original Ronaldo-style, giving Szczesny no time to set. But he dives to save nonetheless.
48’ - WHAT A GOAL! Atletico Madrid 0-1 Juventus (Cuadrado) Bonucci sends a lovely long pass out to Higuain, who trundles in behind and picks a pass to Cuadrado ... and he takes a touch, nudging inside to create the angle, and pastes a BRILLIANT curler into the far top corner!
59’ - Lovely from Atleti when Juve fail to clear a corner, Trippier taking the ball off Saul and sliding a nice pass to the line where, Koke swivels brilliantly to pull back with everyone expecting him to go across the box ... for Gimenez, arriving late! He slides into a strong contact, but sends his shot high.
65’ - ANOTHER LOVELY GOAL! Atletico Madrid 0-2 Juventus (Matuidi) The counter does the trick again! Ronaldo strides at the Atleti defence and from inside-left rolls a pass outside him for Alex Sandro; the weight is luscious, so without breaking stride, a cross is delivered to the near post where Matuidi murders a header past Oblak, off his shoulder.
70’ - GOAL! Atletico Madrid 1-2 Juventus (Savic) THIS IS MORE LIKE IT! Koke flips a free-kick from central, 40 yards out, to the far post and Gimenez is up yesterday, all over Danilo to head in the middle, where De Ligt is sleeping and Savic arriving, to head home from two yards.
73’ - Here come Juve again, Bentancur picking up a loose header from Savic and playing in Higuain down the right of the box - that's a lovely ball. Higuain collects then drives low, hard and straight at Oblak ... but Matuidi collects the rebound! He could take a touch or square to Ronaldo, but drives low first-time, and Trippier, behind his keeper, blocks clear. Ronaldo, of course, doubles up with laughter.
90’ - AND THERE IT IS! GOAL! Atletico Madrid 2-2 Juventus (Herrera) Trippier whips into the middle and Herrera, who attacks everything like a raving psychopath, attacks the ball like a raving psychopath, powering a shoulder past Szczesny. On the touchline, Simeone is the picture of restraint, no he isn't. What a half! Phew!
90+4’ - Oh my days! Ronaldo collects the ball from a thrown and sets off towards the box like it's good old 2007 storming past Felix, twisting Savic inside and out ... can he win it? No! He fizzes a shot this wide of the far post. Brilliant!
Cristiano Ronaldo, Atletico-JuventusGetty Images
Jan Oblak has conceded two goals in three consecutive games for the first time since 2012, when he was a 19-year-old youngster at Rio Ave.
Atletico conceded two or more goals in three straight games for the second time in the Simeone era, and the first time since February 2014.