Juventus 2-1 Real Madrid

Juventus won a tight first leg of the semi-final of the Champions League, with the result nicely setting up the second leg in Madrid next Wednesday. Juventus started the better of the two and Morata opened the scoring in the ninth minute; a fine team move found Tevez, who took a shot from the edge of the area. Casillas parried the shot to his right and Morata was able to tap into an empty net from a yard out. Madrid came into the game more and levelled things up in the 26th minute through a Cristiano Ronaldo header. A move down the right found James in the area and he lifted a cross over Buffon at the near post. Ronaldo’s run was not tracked and he headed in unchallenged from a yard out. James hit the crossbar with a header from 3 yards out in the closing minutes of the half, but the winning goal came in the second half in the favour of Juventus. A counter attack from Tevez saw him take the ball into the area and as the angle was getting tighter, Carvajal fouled him and conceded a penalty. Tevez took the penalty, hitting it down the middle as Casillas dived to his left. Madrid had plenty of possession, but were unable to find a way through to level the score.

The standard was high throughout and easily a level or two above anything that any team in England can play at. The ball was moved around crisply and with purpose, with each team probing the other and looking for weaknesses before making sudden changes of pace to exploit them. Both teams will probably be quite happy heading to Madrid next week: Juventus because they have the lead on aggregate and Real because they have an away goal. Despite Juventus having the lead, I would make Real favourites because they are only a goal behind, have an away goal and have the home support next week.

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