MADRID (AFP) – Atletico Madrid got their Champions League campaign back on track as Arda Turan’s goal 15 minutes from time was enough for a 1-0 win over Juventus on Wednesday.
Chances had been hard to come by in a physical contest between the Spanish and Italian champions, but Turan’s cool finish to end Juventus’ run of over 500 minutes without conceding this season sealed a vital three points for Diego Simeone’s men. Malmo’s 2-0 victory over Olympiakos means all four sides in Group A are tied on three points with four matches to play.
Last season’s beaten finalists Atletico came into the game desperate for the points having been surprisingly beaten away by Olympiakos.
However, Simeone’s decision to opt for the more defensively minded Saul Niguez ahead of 30 million euro summer signing Antoine Griezmann was a hint of the cagey encounter to come as chances were few and far between.
Indeed the most noteworthy moment of the opening half was Atletico striker Mario Mandzukic tearing off the mask he had been wearing to protect a broken nose after receiving an elbow in the face form Leonardo Bonucci, for which the Italian defender was booked.
Mandzukic also had the only effort on target of the first period as his low effort was comfortably beaten away to safety by Gianluigi Buffon.