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POST TIME: 8 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Costa takes Juve into knockouts
AFP, Moscow

Costa takes Juve into knockouts

Juventus' forward Douglas Costa celebrates with forward Paulo Dybala after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League group D football match against FC Lokomotiv Moscow at Moscow's RZD Arena stadium on Wednesday. AFP photo

Substitute Douglas Costa's injury-time winner secured Juventus their spot in the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday after a 2-1 victory over Lokomotiv Moscow. The Brazilian winger struck a magnificent, last-gasp solo goal for the Italian champions after Aleksei Miranchuk had cancelled out Aaron Ramsey's fourth-minute opener.

Juve are three points clear of Atletico Madrid at the top of Group D ahead of the Spanish side's game at Bayer Leverkusen, who will likely battle Lokomotiv for a Europa League place. “We have achieved the first objective of the season. Lokomotiv were defending low but counter-attacked well in the first half,” Juve captain Leonardo Bonucci said.

“We created a few chances and finally managed to earn the victory,” he added. Juve's Maurizio Sarri substituted an angry Cristiano Ronaldo during the final 10 minutes due to knee and thigh problems. “I replaced him just because I feared he could aggravate his injury,” Sarri said.

Lokomotiv coach Yuri Semin made one change from the weekend's draw at Ufa as on-loan Inter Milan midfielder Joao Mario came in for Murilo Cerqueira. Sarri brought in seven new faces from Saturday's Turin derby victory which included handing Wales midfielder Ramsey his first start for the club in the competition.

Ramsey, whose appearances for his new side this season have been restricted by injury, opened the scoring early after Lokomotiv goalkeeper Guilherme fumbled Ronaldo's free-kick. Ronaldo fired his effort from the corner of the box straight at Guilherme who spilled the ball through his legs, allowing Ramsey to poke home from the goal-line on the greasy surface.

The Russians equalised eight minutes later after Juve took their foot off the gas.

Maciej Rybus whipped a cross towards Miranchuk who tapped in unopposed with Wojciech Szczesny on the floor after his header bounced back off the post.

The equaliser seemed to inspire Lokomotiv and they could have taken the lead less than 10 minutes later.

Miranchuk wasted a chance to double his tally after glancing his header over the crossbar from a chipped cross by Rifat Zhemaletdinov.