Paulo Dybala’s free-kick inflict pain as Juventus beat Atletico Madrid. Juventus, whose qualification for the last 16 had already been confirmed, went ahead when Dybala’s powerfully struck free-kick from a tight angle went into the roof of the net. Substitute Federico Bernardeschi also hit the post for the Serie A leaders.
A spectacular free-kick from Paulo Dybala gave Juventus a Champions League win over Atletico Madrid and guaranteed the Italian side top spot in Group D.
Atletico remain second but need to beat Lokomotiv Moscow next month to qualify. The Spanish side, Champions League runners-up in 2014 and 2016, are on seven points, one ahead of Bayer Leverkusen after the German side kept alive their hopes of qualifying with a 2-0 away win against Lokomotiv.
At the Allianz Stadium, Dybala’s goal was a rare moment of quality in a tight match that only saw two shots on target apiece from both sides. A fine last-ditch challenge from home defender Matthijs de Ligt denied Atletico substitute Angel Correa with former Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata heading wide from the resulting corner.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who was rested for Juventus’ 3-1 Serie A win over Atalanta on Saturday, played the full 90 minutes, while Welshman Aaron Ramsey started, but was substituted after 63 minutes and replaced by Bernardeschi.
Juventus have gone out at the Champions League quarter-final phase in both the past two seasons and are aiming to win the tournament for the first time since 1996.
Top again for Juventus – the stats
- Juventus’ victory means they will finish top of their Champions League group for the third time in the past four seasons, progressing in second place in 2017-18.
- They have won four consecutive home group-stage games in the Champions League for the first time since October 2008 (when they had a run of 12 in a row).
- Atletico Madrid have lost consecutive Champions League group-stage matches for the first time since October 2009.
- Juventus’ Paulo Dybala has been directly involved in four goals in his past four Champions League games, scoring his first-ever direct free-kick in the competition with the winner against Atletico.
- Dybala has also scored eight goals in the Champions League since the start of last season, more than any other Juventus player.
Source – BBC News
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