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Dublin: 8°C Friday 7 May 2021


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AFTER LAST WEEK’S first leg, the Serie A champions went to Spain with a fragile 2-1 lead. This is how it unfolded.  

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I hope you’ve all had your dinner and you’ve got your feet up with a cup of tea. This should be fun.

Here are the teams:

Real Madrid: Casillas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Kroos, Isco, James Rodriguez; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo. 

Subs: Navas, Pepe, Coentrao, Arbeloa, Illarramendi, Jese, Hernandez.

Juventus: Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Bonucci, Chiellini, Evra; Marchisio, Pirlo, Pogba, Vidal; Tevez, Morata.

Subs: Storari, Barzagli, Padoin, Pereyra, Sturaro, Coman, Llorente.

How do you see this one playing out?

Jamie Carragher is on Sky talking about a goal he scored against Buffon when they were 16. He looks suitably embarrassed by the prompting from Jeff Stelling in fairness.

Champions  League music!

And we’re off.


The first effort at goal comes from the much-maligned Gareth Bale. Marcelo drove forward and crossed for the Welshman to head but he couldn’t keep it down.


Another chance for the hosts. Carbajal plays in a nice ball for Benzema. The Frnehc striker’s first touch is good but he blazes the second way over.


Ronaldo free-kick coming up. Everyone knows the drill…


Over the bar! Just. Someone got a touch on the way through so it’s a Madrid corner.


Casillas is made to stretch and dive for the first time this evening. Vidal picked up the ball on the edge of the box and, as is his wont, had a pop. The Spain skipper got down to beat it away however.


The weather was scorchio today in Madrid we’re told and this was the sccene as the fans made their way to the stadium. You cannot beat European Cup football in May.

Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Semi Final - Second Leg - Real Madrid v Juventus - Santiago Bernabeu Source: EMPICS Sport

As I type, Real are really knocking on the door. Isco’s turned and shot wide from the 18-yard line or thereabouts and Giorgio Chiellini has had to be alert to some goalmouth danger.

There’s a goal here.


Penalty for Madrid!

James is bundled over by Chiellini. It looked soft from here.


This is how the deadlock was broken.

Source: Eric G/Vine

He could well have had another moments ago. Real broke and he got around the outside by sprinting half the pitch. He sold the defender a dummy and should have shot across Buffon but instead tried — unsuccessfully — to square it.


That’s better from Juve. They get down the pitch for the first time in what seems like ages as Tevez beats a couple of Real players. He’s ultimately bundled over by Isco and the pressure’s relieved.


The game’s calmed down a little with Juve getting on the ball for  a sustained period of time.


James earned the penalty earlier but he’s been booked for looking for a second one.

Juve were forced into a mistake in the right back position and the Colombian playmaker found himself steaming into the box.

He went down handily and the likes of Pirlo et al were quick to surround the Swedish referee. He wasn’t buying it and took Rodriguez’s name.


Peep peep! Half time and Real are in the driving seat. What did you make of that then?

Bit of a debate in the RTÉ studio – Sadlier reckons the ref was spot on with the penalty decision whereas Dunphy reckons it was ‘soft’.


The Juve players are out on the pitch but Real Madrid are keeping them waiting.

Ronaldo is changing his boots we’re told. Maybe he’s putting on his make-up adds Liam Brady to an audible giggle. Never change, Chippy .




We’re up and running in the second half. Let’s see what this Juventus side are made of then.


Ooof! Marchisio just drilled a strike a little wide of the post. It might take one of those or a Pirlo set piece to get Juve back into this.


Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Semi Final - Second Leg - Real Madrid v Juventus - Santiago Bernabeu Source: EMPICS Sport

Paul Pogba’s emergence as a rela player in the Serie A has been hard for united fans to watch but they won’t be too bothered tonight. The Frenchman isn’t playing well.

As I type, Juve could have capitalised on a bad REal mistake. Casillas made a hames of a throw out, Varane was closed down and they looked to be in but Morata was ruled offside.


The Madrid native Morata breaks the deadlock for the Serie heavyweights. Pogba nodded down and the Spanish striker did really well to get his knee over the ball and strike it home. 3-2 to Juve on aggregate now.


Gareth Bale, mate.

The Welsh winger should have scored there and set us up for extra time. Marcelo got around the outside again and clipped on square. Bale volleyed goalward but it went behind and wide.


Carlo Ancelotti’s starting to make a few moves. Benzema’s off and Chicharito is pegging it on. 


James Rodriguez whistles a left-footer inches over the bar and moments later Bale snaps at a shot that drags wide. It’s set up for him to be the hero or more probably, the villain of the piece.


Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Semi Final - Second Leg - Real Madrid v Juventus - Santiago Bernabeu Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon celebrates Alvaro Morata scoring their first goal of the game. Source: EMPICS Sport


Another chance for Bale! He’s got to score that shrugs Ronnie Whelan in the gantry.

Ronaldo was left throwing his arms in the year in frustration once again. He got to the end line and chipped a good ball under the bar for Bale to attack. Evra looked to be in trouble but he did enough to put off the Welsh international and he headed over once again.


Juve are shutting up shop. Pirlo’s trotted off and Barzagli’s on to add to the defensive ranks.


Gareth Bale’s had yet another pop at goal. He cut inside form the wing and unleashed a powerful drive that whizzed wide. Again.


We’re into garbage time and Real need a goal — if I can restate the obvious — the bring this to extra time. The white hankies will be out if they don’t and Carlo Ancelotti might as well book his Ryanair to Milan.


Foul throw from Casillas of all people and Juve get the ball. Ridiculous carry on.

Flag 90Mins

That’s it! The champions are dumped out on their home turf by a resolute Juventus side.


What did you make of that then? Happy to avoid an El Clasico in Europe’s blue riband game or what?

It’s Italy v Spain for the first time since 1998 when Juve and Real met in Amsterdam.


I’m not the first to say it tonight, but Gareth Bale would be better off getting a Hailo home. His car is gonna be pelted.

Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Semi Final - Second Leg - Real Madrid v Juventus - Santiago Bernabeu Source: EMPICS Sport

So that’s your lot from tonight’s minute-by-minute.

This defeat feels like the end of a mini era for Real however and there’ll be plenty of reaction and analysis from Madrid. Onwards to 6 June for Barca and Juve.

Wir fahren nach Berlin as they said in 2006. Which Pirlo, Buffon and co will remember well.

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