A moment of magic from Douglas Costa in stoppages gave Juventus the 2-1 victory away to Lokomotiv Moscow, booking their spot in the Champions League Round of 16.
The Bianconeri had the opportunity to qualify for the Round of 16 with a victory, having fought back from an Aleksei Miranchuk goal to win 2-1 in Turin with Paulo Dybala’s brace.
Dybala was only on the bench in Moscow, having suffered from a stomach bug, so Gonzalo Higuain partnered Cristiano Ronaldo with the returning Aaron Ramsey. Danilo and Daniele Rugani came in for suspended Juan Cuadrado and injured Matthijs de Ligt. The hosts were still without Luka Djordjevic, Anton Miranchuk, Fedor Smolov, Jefferson Farfan and Boris Rotenberg.
It was a bizarre start, as within four minutes Cristiano Ronaldo’s powerful free kick from a difficult angle, practically at the touchline, squirmed through Guilherme’s arms and legs, with Aaron Ramsey getting the final touch just before the ball had entirely crossed over. UEFA awarded the goal to Ramsey, an historic one, as it was Juve’s 300th in the Champions League. It also means Ronaldo has still never scored a free kick in a Juventus jersey.
Lokomotiv hit right back, as a Maciej Rybus cross from the left found Aleksei Miranchuk’s header that bounced off the far post and he was quickest to react on the rebound. He had also found the net in Turin, so clearly enjoys facing the Bianconeri.
The hosts continued to push forward with rapid counter-attacks, as Miranchuk only shinned a very promising Rybus cross from 12 yards and he got a second bite, his header landing on the roof of the net.
Gonzalo Higuain sprung the offside trap on a floated ball and kept his volley low, forcing a fantastic fingertip save from Guilherme.
After the restart, Guilherme beat away another Cristiano Ronaldo free kick, then got his hands to a rocket from the Portuguese star that was flying into the near top corner.
Joao Mario wasted a promising counter by blasting over, while Juve’s long passing moves at a slow tempo did little to really trouble the hosts.
Instead, Lokomotiv Moscow had a huge double chance on 78 minutes. First Wojciech Szczesny came rushing out to clear from Krychowiak, then Leonardo Bonucci got back to clear the Joao Mario follow-up off the line.
Paulo Dybala somewhat surprisingly replaced Ronaldo as the final substitution and he nearly scored. La Joya chested down a ball for Higuain, then Vedran Corluka stopped him getting the tap-in from six yards on the Rabiot roll across, while Pjanic’s strike was deflected wide.
It seemed as if a 1-1 draw was inevitable, until a sudden Flash from the substitute. Douglas Costa dribbled past three defenders down the left side, completed a give-and-go with Higuain's back-heel flick, beat another two men as he cut inside and then nutmegged the goalkeeper deep into stoppages for 2-1.
Lokomotiv 1-2 Juventus
Ramsey 4 (J), Al Miranchuk 12 (L), Douglas Costa 93 (J)
Lokomotiv Moscow: Guilherme; Ignatyev, Höwedes, Corluka, Rybus; Zhemaletdinov (Murilo 82), Krychowiak, Barinov, Joao Mario (Kolomeytsev 85); Al Miranchuk, Eder
Juventus: Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci, Rugani, Alex Sandro; Khedira (Douglas Costa 69), Pjanic, Rabiot; Ramsey (Bentancur 64); Higuain, Ronaldo (Dybala 82)
Ref: Buquet (FRA)
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