Lokomotiv Moscow 1-2 Juventus: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Douglas Costa Books Last 16 Place

Juventus secured their place in the last 16 of the Champions League with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Lokomotiv Moscow at the RZD Arena on Wednesday night.

The visitors took the lead in exceedingly fortuitous fashion just three minutes in, as Guilherme let Cristiano Ronaldo’s powerful 30-yard free kick squirm through his body and ricochet towards the net before Aaron Ramsey snuck in to apply the finishing touch.

I Bianconeri weren’t in front for long, however, as Aleksei Miranchuk saw his glancing header come off the post but land perfectly for the forward to tap home the rebound. Chances fell for both sides before the break, with Miranchuk spurning a great opportunity when he headed over the bar, while Guilherme brilliantly saved low to deny Gonzalo Higuain.

In torrential rain ​Juventus found it difficult to find any rhythm against their well-drilled opponents, who continued to pose a threat on the counter attack. Joao Mario nearly put his side in front with 12 minutes remaining but his goal-bound effort was hacked off the line superbly by Leonardo Bonucci. 

With the match seemingly set to finish honours even, substitute Douglas Costa poked home in the 93rd minute to break Lokomotiv hearts and secure three valuable points for Juventus.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Guilherme (5); Ignatyev (7), Howedes (7), Corluka (7), Rybus (6); Zhemaletdinov (7), Krychowiak (8), Barinov (7), Mario (7); Miranchuk (8), Eder (6).

Substitutes: Murillo (6), Kolomeystev (N/A).


Key Talking Point

Having taken an early lead, no matter the manner, few inside inside the stadium expected Juventus not to cement their dominance on proceedings and grab a further foothold in the game. 

That didn’t transpire and credit must be given to their Russian opponents for the way they fought back from the early setback, carving through the Juventus midfield and testing Wojciech Szczesny in net.


Some may point to the horrendous conditions for the reason Juve were unable to find any fluidity in their game, but the midfield duo of Adrien Rabiot and Miralem Pjanic didn’t have the creative nouse between them to feed Ramsey, ​Ronaldo and Higuain.

Changes late in the second period saw the game open up considerably, but whether that was Maurizio Sarri’s intention or not is debatable as his side began turning the screw in search of the goal that would secure them passage to the last 16. 

It eventually came after endless pressure, but there are undoubtedly points of concern for Sarri to iron out ahead of their next ​Champions League group clash against Atletico Madrid. 


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Szczesny (6); Danilo (6) Bonucci (7), Rugani (7), Sandro (7); Khedira (6), Pjanic (6), Rabiot (7), Ramsey (7*); Ronaldo (6), Higuain (5).

Substitutes: Bentancur (6), Costa (6), Dybala (5).

STAR PLAYER – It was a mostly underwhelming outing for the majority of Juventus’ stars on Wednesday night, with the hosts playing their part in an even encounter. 


One player who stood out for the Bianconeri, however, was Aaron Ramsey, who was handed a start in the number ten shirt and showed great energy.

Being hauled off was due to Sarri’s choice to add width to his side, despite the Welshman’s tireless running being a crucial asset to the visitors.


Looking Ahead

It’s back to Serie A duty for Juventus on Sunday evening as they host struggling AC Milan at the Allianz Stadium.

Lokomotiv host KC Krasnodar in the Russian Premier League on Sunday.


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