Match Report: Real Madrid 1-1 Juventus (2-3)
Champions League semi-final second leg, Santiago Bernabeu
There is to be no Clasico final in Berlin after Alvaro Morata returned to haunt Real Madrid with the goal that sent Juventus through to face Barcelona in Germany next month.
Morata, who left Madrid last summer after failing to secure regular first-team action, netted just before the hour, his second goal in the tie, and ultimately it proved enough for the Italian champions.
Cristiano Ronaldo had fired Madrid ahead from the penalty spot after James Rodriguez was fouled inside the box in a first-half Madrid dominated. Carlo Ancelotti’s men could not make their chances count, however, and they were made to pay in the second half.
Carlo Ancelotti made just one change to the side that lost 2-1 in Turin a week ago. The Italian switched from 4-4-2 to his preferred 4-3-3 with Karim Benzema deemed fit enough to start alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in attack after a month on the sidelines. Sergio Ramos dropped to defence alongside Raphael Varane and Pepe was the one to miss out.
Juve also made just one change with Paul Pogba coming back in to the midfield at the expense of Stefano Sturaro. Alvaro Morata, who scored the opener in the first leg, returned to the Bernabeu for the first time as an opposing player since leaving Madrid for Turin in the summer.
Ancelotti called for an intense performance from his men and they certainly listened to his demands if the opening exchanges were anything to go by. Only one minute had ticked over before Bale headed just over at the far post from a Marcelo cross.
Soon after Madrid carved out another chance and this time it fell to Benzema, who showed good close control to make space for shot but fired his effort over the bar.
It was not all one-way traffic and Casillas, who was supported and not whistled when the names were read out over the tannoy pre-match, made a smart stop to deny Arturo Vidal.
The hosts were the dominant force, however, and after Bale carved out a chance of his own and forced Gianluigi Buffon into a good save from long-range, Madrid had the lead from the penalty spot midway through the first half.
James Rodriguez was fouled inside the box by a clumsy Giorgio Chiellini challenge and Ronaldo stepped up to do what he could not at the weekend and find the back of the net from the penalty spot. The goal saw him equal Alfredo Di Stefano on 307 goals for the club.
Madrid had further chances to extend their lead when Ronaldo brought an end to a dangerous-looking counter-attack and Benzema also saw a low shot well saved by Buffon but Juventus were grateful to hear the half-time whistle with just a one-goal deficit.
Juve were kept waiting at the start of the second half but it was Madrid who continued to call the tune on the resumption without really causing Buffon too many problems.
At 1-0 the visitors were always in the game and they got on terms around the hour mark and it was the former Madrid man who grabbed it. Ramos’s foul allowed the vsitors a dangerous free-kick and poor defending allowed Morata to power his shot beyond Iker Casillas.
It visibly lifted Juve but Madrid had the next best chance to restore their lead when Marcelo got free of his man down the left and reached the byline following a clever James pass before crossing for Bale, who could only steer his shot wide of the near post.
A second for the Italians would have killed the tie and it almost came with 20 minutes to go. Claudio Marchisio was left in acres of space inside the box but he could not beat Casillas, who produced a strong low save to keep his side in the game.
Bale had a number of half-chances to restore his side’s lead but could not take them and Juventus managed to see the game out to book a final date with Barcelona in Berlin.
Real Madrid: Casillas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Kroos, James, Isco; Cristiano, Benzema, Bale. Subs: Navas, Pepe, Coentrao, Chicharito, Jese, Arbeloa, Illarramendi.
Juventus: Buffon; Lichsteiner, Bonucci, Chiellini, Evra; Pirlo, Pogba, Marchisio, Vidal; Morata and Tévez. Subs: Storari, Barzagli, Padoin, Pereyra, Sturaro, Coman, Llorente