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Atlético Madrid 1 - Juventus 0: Initial reaction and random observations

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Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

Welcome to the world of Diego Simeone and Atlético Madrid, ladies and gentlemen.

It's not going to be pretty or fully of flare. It's not going to be one where they dominate possession and wow you with all of their attacking skills. Hardly. It's going to be anything but all of that. Atlético's gameplan is to emulate the personality of their coach. They will play with fire, swallow you when you try and breakdown their defense, and they will just frustrate the living hell of you.

It was ugly — and that played right into Simeone's hand. It was an absolute grind over the course of 90 minutes, playing right into Simeone's hand, too. Atléti were never going to have the majority of the possession, instead being some damn organized on defense that will frustrate the living hell out of the opposing team as they record zero shots on goal.

Well that's not good. But that's also how Atlético clearly set out to play it. They wanted a tough, scrappy game that prevented Juventus from doing much in the final third of the field, and that's what they got. Hey, mission accomplished.

One mistake, one simple mistake in the box on marking by Stephan Lichtsteiner not keeping track of Arda Turan. That allowed Atlético to grab the lone goal — the first Juventus has allowed in all competitions this season — and the three points that come along with the victory.

Truth. Does the man know what he's talking about, or does the man know what he's talking about?

Just remember this: Atlético Madrid made it to the Champions League final playing this way. They may have a starting XI that looks different to last year's squad that nearly one the double, but they haven't changed the way they play the game or suddenly have hired a new manager. This is Simeone at his best.

And after two games, Group A in the Champions League is as wide open as wide open gets.

Random thoughts and observations

  • I repeat, Juventus didn't have one single shot on target Wednesday night. Squabble all you want about the ref and how he handled things, but you can't score any goals if you don't test the goalkeeper.

  • Seriously, no shots on goal. When was the last time we can say that about a Juventus team playing in the Champions League and/or Europe entirely?

    Edit: The year was 2006 and the opponent was Arsenal.

  • So, so, so many fouls. I'm seriously wondering if Giorgio Chiellini was called for one while boarding the team bus after the match.

  • Those new green Juventus jerseys ... they sure are bright. That's about as positive of a comment I have regarding these shirts developed by the highlighter division at Nike.

  • Is there anybody on the Juventus roster who needs a goal more than Fernando Llorente right now? He did his usual battling up top as the target man, but he's just lacking that certain something in front of goal right now. He's nowhere close to the same kind of striker we saw once he got some playing time under his belt last season. Maybe it's time to throw Álvaro Morata a start or two — although putting him into the fire against Roma might be a tough task to ask of him — but something needs to happen.

  • Here's your positive spin: Juventus didn't play well at all and still narrowly lost to one of the Champions League finalists. Juventus probably should have gotten at least one point out of Wednesday night's match despite not playing all that well at all. You take away a simple man-marking mistake by Lichtsteiner, and Juve almost certainly do come away with a point. That's just football sometimes.

  • No shots on goal. That's still frustrating the hell out of me.

  • Who's ready to ramp it up once again and stress out for a couple hours against Roma? Raise your hands high and proud, friends!