ATLÉTICO 2 - 0 JUVENTUS
The 5 reasons why Atlético Madrid conquered Juventus
Diego Simeone put on a tactical masterclass as Atlético Madrid beat Juventus at the Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday night and here's why.
Atlético Madrid surprised Juventus on Wednesday with a 2-0 win that could prove decisive on their quest to play the final at the Wanda Metropolitano in June. Simeone's side showed a very different side than what we have come accustomed to in LaLiga and here are some of the areas that helped them beat a much fancied Juventus side.
Koke and Costa
Atlético Madrid have had a massive problem with injuries this season. Despite their recent absences, Koke and Costa returned in the nick of time to feature heavily against Juventus. Simeone opted for a midfield that contained four central midfielders and they were physically over-powering. Koke was vital to making this work and Diego Costa dragged the side forward and kept Juventus' defense on their toes. Cholo said after the game that it took guts to play the pair after such long absences but he knows what they offer and he was willing to take the risk.
Atlético have committed uncharacteristic erros this season at the back. In the derby, they conceded a penalty and a goal from a set-piece and against Real Betis, another error gifted the home side a penalty. Against Rayo Vallecano, their shakiness at the back was evident even though Rayo could not capitalise. Against Juventus, however, they were more concentrated than ever. They kept Juventus at bay by forcing them into difficult shots and left very few spaces at the back to be exploited and which led to a frustrating evening for Ronaldo and co. With Rodri dropping back to further clog up the area, we witnessed a display from Atlético backline that we haven't seen in quite some time.
Dead ball situations
There was a fear at Atlético regarding Juventus' specialties. Their aerial threat from set-pieces was something Simeone worked on but it was Atlético who scored two goals from placed balls. The Italian side are excellent from set-pieces and Mono Burgos and Simeone worked hard to ensure their side were concentrated to the maximum when faced with this threat. Before the game, Atlético put in extra work to ensure this was the case and it worked on Wednesday night.
Looking for goals
Atlético went 1-0 up and did not settle for just a solo goal. Without throwing the kitchen sink at it, and without losing their tactical positioning, they tried various ways to get that priceless second goal. The 2-0 arrived from a set-piece but even before that, Atlético never back down and never really stopped causing trouble in Juventus' area. Simeone's changes with Correa and Lemar ensured they had plenty of pace to continue attacking Allegri's side and Griezmann's display ensure they kept attacks going.
The Wanda Metropolitano
Atlético Madrid feel invinsible at home. At the Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday, the noise was defeaning and the atmosphere in the build-up to the game wa exceptional. There was a sense of hope even though Atlético were underdogs and that translated onto the pitch in what was the first great European night at the new stadium.