Álvaro Morata came off the bench to score the game-winning goal for Atletico Madrid in a 1-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Matchday 3 looked like it would open with a stalemate at the Wanda Metropolitano for well over an hour. Until fullback Renan Lodi played an excellent curling cross that picked out Morata’s run into the box (via Bleacher Report):
The three points mean Atleti will spend at least a couple hours on top of Group D, and a different result would’ve hardly spelled doom.
Still, they would have failed to beat the only team that’s failed to win thus far in the group, with the return leg in Leverkusen in two weeks’ time. Atleti also had to rally just to salvage a point from the home fixture with Juventus, courtesy of a stoppage-time equalizer by Mexican international Hector Herrera.
The trip to Turin looms in late November, and it might have to be made without record summer signing João Félix, who didn’t play Tuesday and is sidelined with an ankle injury for the foreseeable future.
Tougher questions will be asked of this revamped Atleti side in Europe. Thanks to Morata, they won’t be asked just yet.
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