The spectacle with a sour end – Real Madrid vs Juventus
28 March 2018
Champions League quarter-final rounds have finished. Among many surprises happening during the Leg 2, the match between Real Madrid and Juventus has certainly deserved a highlighted spot. Everybody expected a spectacle, but rarely anybody believed that Juventus could win and throw Real Madrid out of the Champions League. That almost happened, yet Real stood firmly on the ground. With a little luck, the team from Madrid managed to secure the place in the semifinals. We bring you the exciting details from the match.
Juventus came to the Santiago Bernabeu after Madrid’s 3-0 win at Allianz Stadium. The Bianconeri came to Madrid to win, and that’s what they did, yet, Real took the throne. Juventus almost did the unthinkable – no team in history had beaten Real Madrid on their own stadium by a three-goal difference. The scorers were Mario Mandzukic in the 2nd and 37th minute, Blaise Matuidi in the 61st minute for Juventus, and Cristiano Ronaldo (penalty kick) in the 90th minute. It was a completely normal and calm game at the Santiago Bernabeu – Juventus was only a step away from the greatest victory in the history of the club. However, it seems Lady Luck had other plans…
The inspiration for the Bianconeri was certainly the team of Roma, who beat Barcelona by scoring three goals the night before. Juve expected to secure the extra-time and go to the penalty shoot-out. Only two minutes had passed when the first goal arrived. Mandzukic shocked Real’s fans when he scored the second goal only eight minutes before half-time. The Bianconeri needed only one more goal to send the game to the extra-time. And they got their reward when Blaise Matuidi poked the ball into an empty net, after Keylor Navas’ mistake. It seemed the Italians were going to get the extra-time they wanted, but Giorgio Chiellini made a foul on Lucas Vasquez in the penalty area. Gianluigi Buffon was very angry at the English referee, Michael Oliver, for awarding the penalty kick to Real and was sent off with a red card for his protests. Wojciech Szczesny replaced Buffon at the goal, but he could not stop the Portugal international from scoring. Real Madrid got their winning goal, and Juventus missed another chance to compete for the prestige prize.
Yet, there were many controversies around the penalty kick awarded to Real Madrid. A lot of people claimed that there had been no foul on Lucas Vasquez, and that Real had “once again” simulated to win the penalty kick. It is beyond reason to talk about favoring certain clubs in the Champions League. Be it as it may, Real Madrid scored a winning goal and left Juventus weeping over their lost chance. Final thoughts would be that the Bianconeri didn’t have enough luck to start with – what they did was remarkable, yet they missed the opportunity. One thing is known for sure – Gigi Buffon will remember his last game in the UEFA Champions League for the all-time dramatic event of his career.