Atletico Madrid dismantled the Italian juggernauts Juventus Wednesday winning the first leg match 2-0 in the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League.
Although Juventus, parading Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic had superior possession, Atletico were more menacing in the box, with more shots on target.
But the glory of the night at the Wanda Metropolitano. belonged to defenders Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez who scored Atletico’s two goals within five minutes deep in the second half.
The victory has put Atletico within sight of the quarter-finals and called into question Ronaldo’s mission with Juventus.
It 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 wrest 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 outmuscled by Juanfran down the left.
Perhaps it was frustration that made him wave five fingers in the direction of the baiting Atletico crowd, presumably to signify his five Champions League triumphs.
His best contribution was an early, driven free-kick from 30 yards, that had to be pushed over by Jan Oblak, and the dummy-shot before it, that exposed Costa as encroaching, for which he received his yellow card.
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