Atletico Madrid produced a typically spirited comeback from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Juventus in a thrilling finale to Wednesday’s blockbuster Group D opener.
Mexico midfielder Hector Herrera levelled in the 90th minute with a thumping header from a corner, after defender Stefan Savic had pulled a goal back for the Spaniards in the 70th with a header from close range. Atletico were the brighter side in the first half but Juve went ahead in the 48th minute when Juan Cuadrado sent an unstoppable curling shot into the top corner after a break engineered by a punt forward from defender Leonardo Bonucci.
Juve’s Cristiano Ronaldo was kept unusually quiet after scoring a hat-trick against Atletico in last season’s competition, but his side doubled their lead in the 65th minute with a header from midfielder Blaise Matuidi following another quick counter.
But with bullish coach Diego Simeone motivating them from the sidelines and a typically boisterous Wanda Metropolitano crowd roaring them on, Atletico snatched a draw. The two sides have a point each while Lokomotiv Moscow top Group D after beating Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 away from home.
Making his Champions League debut for Atletico, Joao Felix took only nine minutes to make his mark on the contest, a dazzling solo run from 10 yards inside his own half ending with Wojciech Szczesny making a low save to his left. Jose Gimenez headed the resulting corner over the crossbar and the defender failed to profit again from another set piece, a warning Juve would later fail to heed.
Cuadrado shattered the deadlock with a thunderbolt in the 48th minute, collecting a pass from Gonzalo Higuain, cutting inside Renan Lodi and unleashing a stunning 20-yard drive.
Atletico should have levelled when Koke raided down the right and cut back a low cross to Gimenez, who sliced a poor first-time finish over the crossbar. Cristiano Ronaldo and Alex Sandro combined to superbly set up Matuidi for Juve’s second, but within five minutes Atleti halved the deficit as Savic nodded home.
And the comeback was completed when Herrera brilliantly converted a corner, although Ronaldo almost snatched all three points at the death, driving just wide after a superb solo run.