Juventus beat Real Madrid 3-1 at the Bernabeu on Wednesday, April 11, but exited the Champions League. Here are all the highlights from the match.
Real Madrid survived an almighty scare to qualify for the Champions League semifinals against Juventus on Wednesday. Cristiano Ronaldo was the hero once again, scoring a penalty deep in stoppage time to send his side through, but this was hardly convincing from Los Blancos.
The penalty was awarded for Mehdi Benatia’s foul on Lucas Vazquez, a brave decision by referee Michael Oliver, but probably, just about, correct.
Benatia had gotten the wrong side of Vazquez, two yards from goal after Ronaldo’s knockdown, and appeared to push him off balance as he attempted to poke the ball away. Ronaldo waited almost four minutes to take the kick, as Gianluigi Buffon was sent off for shoving Oliver and Wojciech Szczesny was brought on in his place, but he finished emphatically into the top corner.
The drama of the final minutes will overshadow what came before, but Juventus deserve tremendous credit for clawing their way back into the tie after a first-leg thrashing that also saw them lose their most dangerous attacking player in Paulo Dybala.
The Old Lady took the lead in only the second minute, Mario Mandzukic heading in powerfully at the back post following a lovely cross by Sami Khedira. They almost had a second five minutes later, following more good work by Douglas Costa down the right.
Real re-established control of the ball following that rocky opening, but they looked unstable at the back without suspended captain Sergio Ramos, and could find no way through Juve’s stubborn defense.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side doubled their lead in the 37th minute. Mandzukic was the scorer again, this time heading in Stephan Lichsteiner’s cross at the back post.
The game followed the same pattern after the break, with Real largely dominating possession, but Juve maintaining a significant threat on the break. They were rewarded with a third goal on the hour mark, as Blaise Matuidi took advantage of a Keylor Navas error to bundle in.
With the match seemingly headed to extra time, Benatia fouled Vazquez, Oliver pointed to the spot and Ronaldo held his nerve. This was a remarkable tie between two of Europe’s heavyweights, and a remarkably cruel way for Juve, and Buffon in particular, to go out.
The Champions League semifinal draw will take place on Friday, April 13.