Champions League: Juventus draw with Real Madrid to advance to final
REAL MADRID 1
(Agg. score: 2-3)
Alvaro Morata was the man to put former club Real Madrid to the sword as Juventus secured their place in the Champions League final against Barcelona.
Madrid, the holders of the Champions League, dominated the match on Thursday morning (May 14) but only had Cristiano Ronaldo's first-half penalty to show for it as Gareth Bale - among others - missed a string of chances.
It was not enough after Morata fired in an equaliser, largely against the run of play, just before the hour to make it 1-1 on the night, and 3-2 to Juve on aggregate.
The tone was set for a night of Madrid attacks just 35 seconds in when Marcelo's deep cross picked out Bale, who headed over.
Karim Benzema used brilliant skill to turn away from Leonardo Bonucci, only to blaze over, before Ronaldo's free-kick was deflected on to the roof of the net.
Madrid were eventually rewarded in the 22nd minute when Giorgio Chiellini's clumsy challenge on James Rodriguez gave them a penalty Ronaldo converted with ease, and there was no let up as they pushed forward again.
Cristiano Ronaldo converting his penalty kick. PHOTO: JUVENTUS
Ronaldo cut back in the area and appeared to give himself an easy shot to score, but chose to cross for Benzema and saw the ball cleared.
When Bale launched a swift counter-attack Ronaldo fired a powerful shot into the side-netting, and Benzema then brought a fine save out of Gianluigi Buffon with a close-range effort before the first half ended with a booking for Rodriguez as he took an exaggerated tumble in the area.
Little appeared to have changed after the break as Marcelo sent a bobbling shot wide, but Juve gradually began to build a head of steam.
At first there appeared little genuine threat as an offside flag frustrated Morata but they were edging forward, and the complexion of the night changed dramatically after Sergio Ramos fouled Arturo Vidal on the wing.
Alvaro Morata's reaction after scoring against his former club. PHOTO: REUTERS
Iker Casillas punched the free-kick clear but it was pumped straight back in and Paul Pogba headed it down for Morata to control and fire home.
The former Madrid man again did not celebrate but his team-mates certainly did with the odds back in their favour.
Bale was inches away from the perfect response as he did his best to hook in Marcelo's cross after a neat move but Juve had their tales up now and came forward again.
Claudio Marchisio's cross was just beyond Morata's reach, but they had the perfect chance to kill off Madrid in the 69th minute when Vidal slipped the ball through to Marchisio.
He had the whole goal to shoot at but failed to disguise his intentions and Casillas made a huge save.
Madrid took heart, but Bale's powerful shot from the edge of the area flashed wide, and he then headed Marcelo's cross over from point-blank range.
The Welshman's boo-boys re-emerged in the stands but he did not shrink away, flashing a long-range shot narrowly wide in the 84th minute.
Pogba missed the chance to end the contest in the 88th minute when the ball came back to him on the penalty spot only for Casillas to palm it clear, but Juve were able to see out four minutes of stoppage time and book their ticket to Berlin.
Source: PA Sport