A goalless stalemate between Juventus and Atletico Madrid sees both qualify for the Knockout stages.
Koke and Fernando Llorente had early opportunities before Juventus took control with Carlos Tevez and Llorente but having opportunities but Atletico stood firm in defence, Juventus’s dominance continued into the second half with Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal having opportunities but couldn’t break down the opposition.
It was an open affair in the early proceedings with Atletico producing the best opportunity, the ball was slid across to Koke and his shot forced Buffon who managed to get his hand up to beat it away. From there Juventus took the reins with Fernando Llorente getting the slightest of touches to Paul Pogba’s hopeful ball which had Moya using his legs to keep it out.
There were big calls from the Juventus players after Diego Godin looked to have blocked Carlos Tevez’s effort with his hand but the claims were rightly waved away, Atletico had the odd opportunity with Jose Gimenez’s looping header from the attempted defensive header proving very awkward for Buffon to deal with forcing him to tip it over the crossbar.
Juventus dominated the possession and chances but had nothing to show for it Diego Godin heading away from a brilliant Andre Pirlo cross and Moya collecting Llorente’s header from Pogba’s brilliant cross with the outside of his boot.
Diego Simeone’s side began to get a foothold in the latter stage of the half with Arda Turan cutting inside from the flank into a shooting but dragged his shot wide, Mario Suarez had great opportunity right at the end but his curled effort was easily punched palmed away by Buffon and the skipper smothered the second attempt from the Spaniard moments later.
Massimiliano Allegri’s continued to press for the opener in the second half, there was some good build up in 54th minute with Tevez playing a cute back heel into Pogba but his shot was again prevented by the Atletico defence. Vidal then had an opportunity which had to be pushed behind by a stretching Moya, the Chilean was involved once again making a good run into the area but Patrice Evra’s cut in was just behind him.
With 20 minutes to play and Olympiakos taking the lead in their game nerves began to jangle in the home camp, Atletico almost give away the lead when Pogba’s thunderous long-range effort could only be parried causing a goalmouth scramble but it was eventually cleared to safety.
Vidal looked to give his side that vital advantage but the long-range chance was easily collected, the last chance of the match fell to Pogba who put it wide of the right post but the point proved to be enough to send his side through.
It was a magnificent display by Juventus who pretty much dominated for the whole ninety minutes but couldn’t break down that Atletico defence, personally I think they did enough to progress but they now face the daunting prospect of facing one of the top teams after finishing in that second position.
Diego Simeone’s side offered very little to this tie which looked that was their game plan from the start by sitting back which they managed to pull off brilliantly, this point meant that Atletico finished top of the group and with their current form it proves a daunting prospect for their last 16 opponents.
Written by @Danialkennedy