Champions League Final in Cardiff

JUVENTUS 1-4 REAL MADRID

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as holders Real Madrid were crowned champions of Europe for a record 12th time after outclassing 10-man Juventus in a high-quality Champions League final in Cardiff.

Ronaldo put Real ahead with a first-time finish from 16 yards before Mario Mandzukic equalised from just inside the area with a sensational overhead kick beyond Keylor Navas.

Real took control after the interval, Brazilian midfielder Casemiro’s deflected shot restoring the lead before Ronaldo sealed victory for Zinedine Zidane’s side after poking home from close range following Luka Modric’s cross.

Juventus played the last six minutes with 10 men after substitute Juan Cuadrado was booked twice inside 18 minutes, before substitute Marco Asensio hit the fourth after Marcelo’s fine pass.

Zidane has now won back-to-back Champions Leagues – as well as this season’s La Liga title – since he took charge of Real in January 2016.

Italian champions Juventus have lost five Champions League finals since they last won the competition in 1996.

Real forward Gareth Bale came on as a 77th-minute substitute in his home city after recovering from a calf injury.

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”GOALS”

Cristiano Ronaldo 20′ – 0-1 (Real Madrid)
Mario Mandžukic 27′ – 1-1 (Juventus)
Casemiro 61′ – 1-2 (Real Madrid)
Cristiano Ronaldo 64′ – 1-3 (Real Madrid)
Marco Asensio 90′ – 1-4 (Real Madrid)

 

 

 

No miracle Barcelona 0-0 Juventus

Barcelona 0-0 Juventus (0-3 agg): Catalans crash out as Messi and co misfire at Nou Camp – 5 things we learned

Lightning didn’t strike twice.

This time Barcelona did leave themselves with far too much to do as composed an away performance you could wish to see in the Champions League to make the semi-finals.

On a night Barca needed everything he touched to turn to gold, Lionel Messi fired off target with the hosts best two chances either side of half-time.

Juventus always threatened the away goal that would have made the highly improbable impossible through the pace of Juan Cuadrado on the counter-attack.

In the end, though, their 3-0 first leg lead was more than enough as they registered an eighth clean sheet in 10 Champions League games this season.

Here are five things we learned…

ps, With a Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers

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Juventus 3-0 Barcelona: Turin giants stun Barca

Barcelona need another Nou Camp miracle if they are to reach the Champions League semi-finals after a crushing 3-0 loss to Juventus in Turin.

Paulo Dybala struck twice in a stunning first half and Giorgio Chiellini added a rare third after the break as the hosts claimed a commanding advantage ahead of next week’s second leg.

Dismal Barcelona’s only hope is to repeat their feat of the previous round, when they recovered from a 4-0 first-leg loss to Paris St Germain by beating the French side 6-1 at home.

But on the evidence of Tuesday night a second comeback looks highly unlikely after Juventus dominated proceedings with the help of Dybala’s brilliant first-half brace.

The home side hared out from the first whistle and had their first chance after less than three minutes when Gonzalo Higuain wasted a good chance in front of Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Luis Enrique’s men, smarting from a domestic defeat to Malaga at the weekend, looked clueless over how to deal with their opponents’ attacking threat and they fell behind with just seven minutes on the clock.

The superb Juan Cuadrado found Dybala on the right side of the box and the striker curled an excellent left-foot shot past the helpless keeper.

Barcelona responded well and could have grabbed an equaliser after 20 minutes when Lionel Messi threaded the ball to Andres Iniesta whose low shot was well saved by Gianluigi Buffon.

Moments later, Juventus surged down the left flank and Mario Mandzukic crossed for the unmarked Dybala, who fired his second of the game past ter Stegen to put the Italians 2-0 up.

Messi had an effort ruled out for offside on the half-hour before Juventus came close to increasing their lead when Cuadrado pulled back for Miralem Pjanic who blazed over the bar.

Barcelona started the second half in much better fashion with Messi rolling an effort inches wide of the upright and Buffon just beating Luis Suarez to an Ivan Rakitic through-ball.

Higuain rolled a weak effort at ter Stegen before Chiellini made it 3-0 after 55 minutes, out-jumping Javier Mascherano to head home only the second Champions League goal of his career.

Knowing a precious away goal could still help turn the tie in their favour, Barcelona began to press with Suarez trickling a fine chance wide then Neymar seeing an effort blocked by the busy Chiellini in the box.

Barcelona’s mis-firing mega-stars endured more frustration in the final quarter of an hour, Suarez mis-controlling after a pass across the six-yard box by Neymar, then Messi mis-judging a fine chance from a corner.

Marshalled by a towering performance by Brazilian Alex Santos, the Juventus defence held out and Messi’s last chance to reduce the deficit came to an end when he spun a free-kick into the Italians’ wall.

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Controversial late penalty helps Juventus beat Milan 2-1

Fino alla fine (Until the end) is the Juventus motto and it lived up to it again as Paulo Dybala converted a penalty with the last kick of the match to beat AC Milan 2-1 and go 11 points clear in Serie A on Friday.

Teen goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma appeared to have earned Milan a precious point with some fine saves but Juventus was awarded a disputed penalty deep in stoppage time after Mattia De Sciglio was judged to have handled Stephan Lichtsteiner’s cross.

Milan players surrounded the officials and goal-scorer Carlos Bacca had to be pulled away from the referee by coach Vincenzo Montella after the final whistle.

“We exaggerated at the end of the match and I apologize for the final uproar, but I hope … they can understand why there was a lot of tension,” Montella said. “Regardless of the interpretation of the incident, we should transmit more positive and calmer messages.

“I say we should let the officials make mistakes in peace. I don’t like to hear too many complaints: We all need to be cautious and calm and accept the verdict on the pitch.”

Juventus, which plays Porto in the second leg of its Champions League last-16 matchup on Tuesday, extended its Serie A record to 31 consecutive home wins.

It moved 11 points clear of second-placed Roma and 13 ahead of Napoli. Roma visits Palermo on Sunday, shortly after Napoli hosts Crotone.

“When decisions go against us no one says anything. When they’re in our favor bedlam happens,” coach Massimiliano Allegri said. “Ours is a deserved victory.

Milan remained seventh, a point behind Inter Milan, which hosts fifth-placed Atalanta on Sunday.

Juventus took the lead on the half hour through an unlikely goal-scorer. Medhi Benatia beat the offside trap to control Dani Alves’ chipped pass and smash it past Donnarumma from close range for his first goal for the club.

Milan leveled two minutes from halftime following great work from Gerard Deulofeu, who sprinted down the left from inside his own half, cut inside, and threaded the ball through for Bacca to fire into the bottom right corner.

Juventus and Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was merely a spectator for most of the match and had plenty of time to admire his heir apparent.

Donnarumma turned 18 only last month but he has already played more than 60 times in Serie A and made two Italy appearances.

He notably kept out a Miralem Pjanic free kick then denied Sami Khedira with the help of De Sciglio’s goal-line clearance. He also managed to deflect Pjanic’s shot onto the crossbar.

Milan midfielder Jose Sosa was sent off following a second booking in the third minute of stoppage time and Juventus upped the pressure.

Gonzalo Higuain’s acrobatic effort was parried by Donnarumma but the ball was crossed back into the area and struck De Sciglio’s arm from point-blank range.

Donnarumma guessed the right way but was unable to keep out Dybala’s spot kick, unlike in the Italian Super Cup where he kept out the Argentine’s effort in the penalty shootout, won by Milan.

Source – TheJakartaPost