Champions League: Atletico Down Juventus, City Comeback Stuns Schalke

Atletico Madrid secured a 2-0 victory over Italian giants Juventus from a thrilling Champions League last 16 first leg tie at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Cristiano Ronaldo returned to the Spanish capital where he enjoyed unprecedented success in this tournament with Real, but it was their rivals celebrating at the final whistle as goals from Jose Gimenez and Diego Godin put Atletico within sight of the quarterfinals.

It was a well-deserved victory for Diego Simeone’s side as Antoine Griezmann had hit the crossbar while VAR twice intervened, correctly, cancelling a penalty for a foul on Diego Costa and then ruling out an Alvaro Morata header just before Gimenez struck.

While Juventus tried to preserve the stalemate, Atletico were bold. Simeone introduced Morata, Thomas Lemar and Angel Correa, all around the hour-mark, and his daring paid off.

Juve are certainly not dead and buried, particularly given Costa and Thomas Partey will both be suspended for the return in Turin after each picked up yellow cards.

But the failure to score an away goal, and their clear inferiority in the second half does not bode well for any hopes of a comeback.

Godin scored Atleti’s second

Elsewhere, Raheem Sterling sealed a dramatic 3-2 Champions League win for 10-man Manchester City at Schalke to keep the English champions hopes of a quadruple alive.

Sterling tucked away the winner at the Veltins Arena in the 90th minute just after substitute Leroy Sane fired home a stunning free-kick for the Premier League leaders against his former club in the last 16, first leg.

Schalke led 2-1 at halftime as the video assistant referee (VAR) twice intervened to award penalties, both converted by Nabil Bentaleb, cancelling out Sergio Aguero’s opener in Gelsenkirchen.

City were in real trouble with 22 minutes left when Nicolas Otamendi, who gave away the controversial first penalty, was sent off for a second yellow card.

But Sane’s moment of brilliance and Sterling’s late winner put Pep Guardiola’s star-studded side in the driver’s seat ahead of the return leg in three weeks.

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