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Cristiano Ronaldo buried an added-time penalty to send Real Madrid through to the semi-finals of the Champions League despite an incredible comeback from Juventus at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night.
Real went into the second-leg encounter firmly in control of the tie after securing a 3-0 win in Turin a week ago. However, Juventus seemed set to match the heroics of fellow Italian club AS Roma against Barcelona at the Stadio Olimpico last night after racing into a 3-0 lead at the Bernabeu.
Juventus attacked relentlessly from the onset of the game and led inside two minutes. Sami Khedira chipped a cross from the right-hand side to the far post where Mario Mandzukic arrived and headed in the opener to stun the home crowd.
The Croatian silenced the crowd eight minutes before the break when he doubled Juventus’ advantage with another header, this time from Stephan Lichtsteiner’s cross.
Raphael Varane struck the crossbar with a thumping header from Toni Kroos’ free-kick, but Madrid were reeling when referee Michael Oliver blew the half-time whistle.
After the break, Madrid tried their level best to take the sting out of the game but never succeeded. The constant pressure from the Italians finally paid off as they got their third goal on a dramatic evening.
Douglas Costa curled in a cross from the right and Keylor Navas made a mess of it while collecting the ball, spilling it eventually, which allowed Blaise Matuidi to bundle home into an empty net.
With the tie heading for extra-time, Real were then handed a lifeline when they were awarded a penalty for Mehdi Benatia’s foul on substitute Lucas Vazquez. Gianluigi Buffon reacted very angrily to the decision and subsequently was sent off in what could be his final Champions League appearance.
With Buffon off, Wojciech Szczesny came on to try and stop Ronaldo from scoring. However, the Portuguese hammered the ball high into the net before racing to the corner flag, throwing his shirt into the air in jubilation.
Navas made a terrible error for the third Juventus goal, spilling a cross into Matuidi’s path for the midfielder to score.
Carvajal was far from his best as he was left exposed defensively, throughout the game.
Varane endured a very poor night in defence. He was neither commanding nor inspiring and wasted a good chance late on. Defensively, the Frenchman was all over the place.
Vallejo was given a tough time by Juventus’ attackers in the opening 45 minutes. After the break, the youngster settled down.
Marcelo had a nightmare against his Brazilian compatriot, Douglas Costa. He tried his best to influence the game from the left but hardly had the leeway to venture forward.
Casemiro had absolutely no impact in the game and was rightfully substituted at half-time.
Modric had a tough night as things never went his way. He failed to put his stamp on the match and surprisingly made a series of poor passes.
Not his greatest night in a Madrid shirt. He made some crisp passes in the first half but completely faded after the interval. A night to forget for the German.
Isco was arguably Madrid’s best player in an otherwise forgettable team performance. The Spaniard made some very good passes, used creativity to good effect and always looked to be a threat to the Juventus defence. However, he became a passenger as the game wore on.
Zidane handed Bale a surprise start but the winger failed to repay his manager’s faith on a big night at Bernabeu. The Welshman was ineffective in the first half and was hauled off at the break.
Ronaldo was far from his best throughout the game. However, when the chance came, he grabbed it with both hands and buried the spot-kick emphatically to send Real into the semi-finals of the competition.
Vazquez was introduced after the break and straightaway brought more urgency in terms of attack for Madrid. The Spaniard worked diligently and was brought down for the penalty which gave Madrid the victory.
Asensio entered the fray alongside Vazquez and provided a direct approach to Madrid’s attack. A good show!
Came on for Modric to help his team defensively but the Croatian struggled to assert himself on the game.