Champions League: Ronaldo fails to lift Juventus in Madrid, 10-man Man City over runs Schalke,

Champions League: Ronaldo fails to lift Juventus in Madrid, 10-man Man City over runs Schalke,
February 21 01:44 2019 Print This Article

Former Real Madrid goal poacher, Christiano Ronaldo returned to the Spanish capital, where he enjoyed unprecedented success in this tournament with Real, but it was their rivals celebrating at the final whistle as goals from Jose Gimenez and Diego Godin put Atletico within sight of the quarter-finals.

This was a victory that Diego Simeone’s side fully deserved. Antoine Griezmann had hit the crossbar while VAR twice intervened, correctly, in Juve’s favour, cancelling a first-half penalty for a foul on Diego Costa and then ruling out an Alvaro Morata header shortly before Gimenez struck.

Juve are certainly not dead and buried yet, particularly given Costa and Thomas Partey will both be suspended for the return in Turin after each picked up yellow cards here.

But the failure to score an away goal, and their clear inferiority for much of the second half, does not bode well for their hopes of a comeback.

Defeat in the last 16 for either team would be unthinkable, for Atletico, who know the final will be played here, at their own stadium, on June 1, the perfect chance to wrestle the trophy off Real in the very city they share.

And for Juventus, whose wait for Europe’s premier prize has now entered its 23rd year, when expectations are higher than ever given they now boast the tournament’s most prolific ever player.

Meanwhile, Raheem Sterling sealed a dramatic 3-2 Champions League win for 10-man Manchester City at Schalke as the English champions scored twice in the last five minutes on Wednesday.

Sterling tucked away the winner at the Veltins Arena in the 90th minute just after substitute Leroy Sane fired home a stunning free-kick for the Premier League leaders against his former club in the last 16, first leg.

Schalke led 2-1 at half-time as the video assistant referee (VAR) twice intervened to award penalties, both converted by Nabil Bentaleb, cancelling out Sergio Aguero’s opener in Gelsenkirchen.

City were in real trouble with 22 minutes left when Nicolas Otamendi, who gave away the controversial first penalty, was sent off for a second yellow card before Sane’s moment of brilliance and Sterling’s winner.

However, City still have some work to do in the return leg on March 12 with Fernandinho, who was booked when conceding the second spot-kick, and Otamendi both suspended.

Schalke are just above the Bundesliga’s relegation places and winless in their last four league games, yet they gave Premier League leaders City an almighty scare.

The hosts initially struggled to get out of their half as Man City dominated the opening 30 minutes, until the game swung dramatically Schalke’s way with the two penalty decisions.

Schalke shot themselves in the foot for City’s opening goal on 18 minutes when a lazy pass from goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann to Salif Sane was snapped up by David Silva.

The Spaniard drew Faehrmann and selflessly served up a simple tap-in for Aguero to claim his 10th goal in his last seven City appearances.

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