The first leg of the Champions League semis got an interesting start as Juventus got past the challenge laid out by heavy favourites Real Madrid to win 2-1.
Young striker Alvaro Morata provided the opening goal for Juventus in the ninth minute of the match, as he got past the defence laid out by the Whites. This is Morata’s first goal against his former team after leaving Real to transfer to the Juves’ side last summer.
Real pressed for an equaliser, which Cristiano Ronaldo succeeded in netting in the 27th minute. Ronaldo received a cross from James Rodriguez in the penalty box and promptly slotted into the empty net. The goal pushed the Portuguese forward to 79 goals in the competition, one more than Lionel Messi’s previous mark as the Champions League’s all-time scorer.
Juventus took a little longer to re-establish their lead, with Carlos Tevez heading down the lane, only to be taken down by Dani Carvajal. However, Tevez managed to sink in the penalty shot, which registered as his 29th goal of the season.
Earlier, Rodriguez nearly gave Madrid the lead after receiving a pass from Isco, but the shot hit the bar and was recovered by Marcelo, who also tried to score but missed.
Real manager Carlo Ancelotti admitted that his team fell short in the match. “I believe that the game could have been better from our part,” he said. “We tried, always looking for quality, but not always with efficiency. In some moments we did very well, in others less.”
However, Ancelotti is optimistic they would be able to come back in the second legm but he was also cautious of the chaqllenge that the Juves will give. “The answer is clear from the game — when we play the ball well we can make chances. When we try and force it too much, Juventus are dangerous on the break. I believe they will sit back and try and hit us on the counter. We will have to be more patient than we were today.”