Juventus stun Real Madrid at Bernabeu to progress to Champions League final
In what was a somewhat breathless Champions League semi-final second leg, Juventus held Real Madrid to 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu to progress through to the final, 3-2 on aggregate.
Despite this, it was the hosts who went ahead, through Cristiano Ronaldo after 23 minutes, when James Rodriguez was clattered in the area by Giorgio Chiellini, and the Portuguese forward coolly slotted past Gianluigi Buffon. Three minutes later, Los Blancos could have doubled their advantage.
As Real broke on the counter-attack they had a one-man advantage in a three-on-two situation, as Karim Benzema slid in Ronaldo in the area, though unselfishly chipping the ball back across goal, it was headed clear with a vital interception.
Real piled the pressure on as the clock ran down to the break, with Gareth Bale playing a sublime ball over the top for Ronaldo who was unlucky to fire into the side netting on the half volley, while Buffon was called into action to deny Benzema in the area with a crucial save.
The second half started with a lot more emphasis on Juve, with Carlos Tevez doing his best to try and influence the match, linking up with Claudio Marchisio, who pinged in a fierce shot which went just wide. Not long after, however, the tie swung in the visitor’s favour.
That man again, Alvaro Morata, who struck first in Turin, made it two in two against his former employers, as Paul Pogba headed back across goal after Iker Casillas punched away a free-kick, for the striker to control and dispatch calmly from 10-yards. Showing class once more though, he didn’t celebrate.
This made for a pulsating last 20 minutes, as the pendulum swung from left to right, with Madrid trying to force the issue, and Juve finding gaps on the counter-attack. Bale had a big chance, though the finish was disappointing while ‘James’ struck from 25-yards, though his effort flew just over the bar rooting Buffon to the spot.
Marchisio could have put the tie to bed, one-on-one with Casillas, though the Spaniard made a vital save pushing the ball to his left, while Bale headed another fantastic chance over the bar. With two minutes to go, Pogba could have sealed it after Llorente laid it back to him, though Casillas once again sprung into action to palm clear.
However, it wasn’t to be for Real Madrid, who will not get a chance to defend their title, as Juventus progress through to the final to face Barcelona in Berlin.