Frustration! Cristiano Ronaldo with provocative five-finger gesture
The teeth in front were bitten off, the ball was not cleared defensively in the decisive moments – and in the end left for Turin with a violent neck blow. The 0-2 win at Atletico Madrid was a difficult one for Juventus. In the midst of it all is superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, whose return to his old hometown has been a complete failure – and after a mockery, he is carried off from the ranks to make a provocative gesture.
With the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus Turin has positioned itself even higher this season. The goal of this measure is clear: With the Portuguese, the worldwide interest in the Bianconeri should be further increased – and on the sporting level, the top class should finally be won again. After all, the final defeats of the last years still hurt: 1:3 against Dortmund 1997, 0:1 against Real Madrid 1998, 2:3 i.E. against Milan 2003, 1:3 against Barcelona 2015, 1:4 against Real Madrid 2017. Five CL finals in a row in the sand? A sad negative record, which in the Italian media always the little word “Maledizione” (curse) resonates and the last title (4:2 i.E. against Ajax Amsterdam 1996) always fades a bit more.
Whether it will be enough to attack the Henkel pot again this year is more than questionable after the deserved 0:2 in the first leg of the Champions League round of sixteen at Atletico Madrid. Coach Massimiliano Allegri’s well-positioned team never really managed to overcome the Madrileans’ rock-solid defences, and after a balanced start, they were increasingly bought by the Rojiblancos. Especially the defense, actually known for serenity and stamina, often staggered immensely. The result were several Atleti chances, which however remained unused until the 78th minute thanks to a strong Juve keeper Wojciech Szczesny.
But in the end, the Pole and his defensive team around the two warriors Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci were also defeated: José Maria Gimenez scored from the turmoil before Diego Godin even managed to score 2:0 – and the situation in Turin before the return leg on 12 March (Tuesday, 9 p.m.) worsened considerably. If the Colchoneros scored an away goal in Turin – which doesn’t seem far-fetched considering the attack by Antoine Griezmann, Diego Costa and Alvaro Morata – Juve would need four goals of their own.
The “Night of the Nightmare” was therefore the title of the “Gazzetta dello Sport” on Thursday morning, not surprisingly – also in relation to the current standard weakness of the old lady (six of the last seven goals scored after resting balls). For Turin coach Max Allegri, who, after four doubles in a row from Serie A title and trophy, seems to have lost his second title of the season early on (out in the Coppa after 3-0 at Atlanta Bergamo), this was a “bad defeat”. “We couldn’t be worse than in the second half.”
An attempt to explain Allegris for the completely used evening was: the slightly ill Miralem Pjanic (replaced by Emre Can in the 73rd minute) and the “traumatizing absence” of Sami Khedira. The German world champion, always in a fit state with the Bianconeri, suffers from cardiac arrhythmia and is missing for about a month.
Mockery for and counter by Cristiano Ronaldo
Another explanation of the Juve offensive: Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been directly involved in 33 goals (21 goals, twelve assists) in 33 matches since his arrival in Turin, was hardly a factor, except for a juicy free-kick in the 9th minute. CR7 was always attacked hard, doubled – and from the start mercilessly booed out by the Madrid crowd, mocked.
I have five Champions League trophies and Atleti has zero.