Champions League

Atletico battle past Juventus

2014-10-01 22:51
Arda Turan (AFP)

Madrid - Atletico Madrid got their Champions League campaign back on track as Arda Turan's goal 15 minutes form 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 to Olympiakos on matchday one.

However, Simeone's decision to opt for the more defensively minded Saul Niguez ahead of €30 million 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 to safety by Gianluigi Buffon.

Juventus were enjoying over 60 percent of possession, but the closest they came to breaking the deadlock before the break came from a Paul Pogba shot from outside the box that curled just past the post.

Simeone introduced Griezmann for Saul eight minutes into the second-half and was rewarded with Atletico's best spell of the match.

The home fans cries for penalty were turned away by German referee Felix Brych just before the hour mark despite the ball clearly striking the arm of Martin Caceres from Raul Garcia's cross before Buffon scrambled it clear.

Juventus had seemed to have weathered that spell as the game became disjointed with both sides giving away possession far too cheaply.

However, with 15 minutes remaining Turan sneaked in ahead of Stephan Lichsteiner at the back post to turn home Juanfran's cross.

The goal forced the visitors onto the front foot and they very nearly got an equaliser via an unlikely source as Atletico captain Raul Garcia was grateful to see his attempted clearance form Lichsteiner's cross fly just past his own goal.

But Atletico held on to inflict Juventus' first defeat under new boss Massimiliano Allegri.

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