The Champions League Quarterfinals kicked off yesterday as Juventus played hosts to AS Monaco FC and Atletico and Real came together in a Madrid derby. Two tight games that showed that the stakes are so high in the elimination stages that some teams focus a lot of their attention to defense. Juventus got a 1-0 after a Arturo Vidal slotted one home from the penalty spot and the clash in Madrid ended in a scoreless draw.
This was the first of the two meetings and in Madrid it was Real that came closest to getting the winning goal. Gareth Bale had a couple of goo scoring chances, but Jan Oblak in the Atletico net had a great game and stopped everything Real threw at him. Bale got a breakaway in the first half but Oblak came up big.
Cristiano Ronaldo had a fairly quiet game as he was heavily marked by the Atletico defense. He had a couple of half chances but nothing that really tested Oblak. Atletico only had two shot on target throughout the whole game, so Iker Casillas had a pretty easy night in the Real goal. Ronaldo & Co. had the majority of the possession, and can’t be happy to not get an away goal. The teams will play the second leg of their matchup on April 22 at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
The result clearly favors Atletico as they have golden opportunity in the second leg to knock of of the favorites out. If they manage go get a goal, Real would have to score two because of the away goal rule. If the game ends in a scoring draw, Atletico will be the team moving on to the next round.
Juventus had a massive advantage in possession in the game against Monaco, but the teams were even with five shots a piece on net. Juventus had several good chances in the first half, and Carlos Tevez really should have done better with the balls he was receiving. A penalty in the 56th minute was need in order to break the stalemate. Ricardo Carvalho brought down Alvaro Morata inside the ox and it wasn’t a tough call for referee Pavel Kralovec to award the penalty kick to Juve. Vidal made it look easy as he put a well-placed and hard kick from the spot up into the goalie’s top right corner.
Dimitar Berbatov had a great opportunity to tie the game with a header off a Monaco corner, but he was unable to put the ball on target. In all Juventus could easily had won this game with two or three goals if Tevez hard been sharper with his finishing. They will travel to Monaco for the second leg of the matchup and it’s still anybody’s game.