Juventus defeated Real Madrid 2-1 in the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg at the Juventus Stadium on Tuesday night, giving them a slender one-goal advantage going into next week’s second leg encounter at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.
Juventus continue their unbeaten run at home in European competition this season, prompting a few pundits to wonder if the newly crowned Italian champions can progress to the final and spoil predictions of an all Spanish title match.
Juve took the lead early on when a Carlos Tevez shot was saved by Iker Casillas into the path of ex-Blancos player Alvaro Morata, who easily tapped in the opener.
The visitors did not have to wait long before they found an equaliser, with good work from James Rodriguez and a looped cross from the Colombian finding Cristiano Ronaldo unmarked, allowing him to nod in the leveller.
Current champions Madrid failed to capitalise further, however, and the Bianconeri pushed on in search of the winner, which they found through a penalty, Dani Carvajal tripped Tevez in the second half. The Argentine striker smacked the ball down the middle, beating Casillas, who had already dived to his side.
The result sets up a mouthwatering second leg, which will be an open affair with home advantage likely to play a major factor for the Spanish. But the Italian side will travel to Madrid with defensive discipline as the core of their strategy, looking to frustrate Ronaldo and his team-mates with defensive solidity and counter-attacking football.