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Dublin: 19 °C Wednesday 26 September, 2018


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TWO TRADITIONAL EUROPEAN heavyweights meet in the first of this season’s Champions League semi-final first legs.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail, tweet @football_iepost a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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*cues up Champions League music, gets a pizza in the oven and pours a long, cold drink*

It’s two of European football’s old-money heavyweights in a May, midweek clash. Where else would you be?

We’ll be going minute-by-minute throughout for what’ll hopefully be an intriguing clash between the tournament dark horses and the holders. Let’s have your predictions.

Keano’s persisting with a hard ‘J’ for Juventus in the last few comments before kick-off. The teams are in the tunnel with a lot of back-slapping and high gives going on between the likes of Buffon and Casillas.


Early chance for the home side with the majority of the stadium roaring for a peno. Casillas gives the ball away with a loose clearance. The ball’s worked back into Vidal who takes a touch and is bundled over/falls down instead of first timing it into the net.


This has been a really bright start from the hosts, hasn’t it?

They’re finding plenty of space in behind and enjoying plenty of possession.


GOAL! Juventus 1 Real Madrid 0, Morata 8′


That opening goal is thoroughly deserved. The Madrid lad popped up at the back post to finish from a yard out despite Pepe waving for offside.

Casillas again should have done better; he parried a cross-goal shot into the former Real striker’s path. There was no celebration.


Here’s the goal:

I’ve never seen that TV brand before.


Real have dug in and are responding well since the goal. Tony Kross just fizzed a shot wide, via a save by Buffon. Isco too has charged forward from centre field and unleashed a sighter but it bounces into the Italian stalwart’s arms.


Good stat


Ronaldo showed some lovely movement to get in behind for the first time by my count. He timed his run to mug off Chiellini but he dragged his shot wide of Buffon’s goal.


GOAL! Juventus 1 Real Madrid 1 – Ronaldo 26 


That’s a vital away goal for Real halfway through the first half. After some nice build up play in and around the box, as Andy Townsend would say, the ball ultimately hopped up for James who hooked it to the back post. Ronaldo was there to knock it home.


This is all very open. Juve try to revert to the Italian sterotype of stroing around at the back for a bit as they try to catch their breath and clear their heads like a punched out heavyweight on the ropes. The possession states have popped up on screen in the meantime: 51-49%.


Ronaldo was clearly pushed in the back by Lichtsteiner when challenging for a high ball, along with Vidal. Martin Atkinson missed it and the Real Madrid talisman reacted as you might expect; first standing incredulous with his arms in a cowboy-in-a-shoot pose and then chasing the ref to complain bitterly in his face. Still no free.


How did that stay out!?

Isco got down the left hand side and sent in a good cross that James managed to head off the underside of the bar from a few yards out. He was under a lot of pressure.

The rebound is eventually lofted over by Marcelo. This is so open.


Half-time: Juventus 1 Real Madrid 1 

That was hugely entertaining I thought. What did you make of it?

Real Madrid will be heading for Berlin however if it continues like this for the next three halves.


Trevor Welsh has had his custard creams and we’re back up and running again.


The break has done nothing to help the tempo of this game. Where the first half started at 100mph, the second is a lot more pedestrian so far.


Penalty! Tevez is brought in the box by Carbajal.


Carbajal was booked for the tackle and he’s lucky it’s not red. Marcelo gets one for dissent it seems.


GOAL! Tevez tucks away the spotter!

The Argentine waited for Casillas to go left and he just put it down the middle.


That penalty came after Real’s best period of the second half. A Tony Kroos free led to a corner but the ball was ultimately cleared with Tevez striding forward before he was hacked down. The place is hopping.


Italy Soccer Champions League Real Madrid players celebrate after Cristiano Ronaldo scored. Source: AP/Press Association Images


Ronaldo almost ghosted in at the backpost again. The ball was whizzed into the box, Chicarito shaped to back heel it on and it just fizzed past the Real No 7.


Barzagliis on for Sturaro in what might signal Juve’s intent to shut up shop. The might want to… Gareth Bale almost found Ronaldo in the centre of the six yard box with a turn and cross from the wing.


Yellow for Carvajal and the whole of Europe realises he wasn’t in fact booked for the penalty incident. He’s a lucky man.


Llorente is on for Real instead of Morata. The lad’s got seven career goals against Madrid.


Ridiculous stat on screen: Pirlo’s ran 10.36km tonight.


Carlos Tevez is being clapped off the Juventus Arena pitch after an excellent night’s work. Gareth Bale on the other hand exits stage left, to be replaced by Jese, after a really bad night at the office.

He’s lucky there’s not more Real fans here to boo him.


There’s a couple of minutes left and both sides are searching for what would be an incredibly important goal. This has been a quality night’s football if you ask me.


It’s all a bit frantic now. Llorente could have scored a third for Juve but Casillas saved. Then Real broke down the pitch with pace but Chiellini cleaned out Ronaldo cynically and took the booking for the team.


FULL-TIME! Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1 

That’s it. The Serie A side head to the Spanish capital in control of the tie. What did you make of that?

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