Real Madrid v Juventus –
Final Score/Result: Real Madrid 2-1 Juventus
Man Of The Match: Cristiano Ronaldo
This win has put Real Madrid in control of the group and they are now five points ahead of second placed Galatasaray. Juventus on the other hand are in danger of missing out having accumulated just two points in their opening three matches.
Real Madrid were the favourites to win this tie and started the match on a bright note as Cristiano Ronaldo provided them an early lead in the 4th minute. The Portuguese winger was set up by Angel Di Maria’s wonderful reverse pass from the edge of the box and Ronaldo kept his composure to take the ball around Buffon and stab it home.
Juventus responded well to that goal and equalised through Fernando Llorente in the 22nd minute. Martin Caceres finally delivered a good cross into the box from the right. Paul Pogba, who was free at the far post, headed the ball towards goal and Casillas could only fist it towards Llorente. The Spanish forward was first to react to the loose ball and applied the finishing touch.
But the parity didn’t last long as Madrid took the lead once again. Just six minutes after the Juventus goal, Giorgio Chiellini pulled down Sergio Ramos inside the box while defending a free kick. Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up and scored from the resultant penalty.
In the second half, there was another twist in the tale of this intriguing battle. Giorgio Chiellini’s terrible night was over as he was sent off for blocking off Cristiano Ronaldo and denying him a goal scoring opportunity. But reply showed that Ronaldo also made the most out of the situation. Real Madrid were expected to pull apart after this, but the home side failed to make anything out of their numerical advantage. A spirited performance from Juventus kept them at bay, in fact despite playing the second half with 10 men, the Italian side managed more shots on target than Real Madrid in the match.
Carlo Ancelotti was pleased with the result, but wasn’t satisfied with the performance. But he has hoped that his side can carry the confidence of this victory in the upcoming match against Barcelona.
“We won a tough game. We could have played better, but the result is very important for us. We only had problems down our right, where we didn’t keep things as tight. Apart from that, the team had good balance.
“We’ve now played three games with this formation [4-3-3]. The team are comfortable with this system and we are not going to change it. Gareth Bale likes to play on the right and he will always play there. The team are confident. We now have to go to the Camp Nou to win, and we will need to be at our best – showing our best qualities.” – The Real Madrid manager said.
Antonio Conte on the other hand was delighted with his side’s performance despite the defeat. He also explained his change in formation and why he used a back four in the game.
“I liked how the lads played tonight. We proved we can play at this level if we really want to. Tonight we only lost due to a couple of small details, a couple of things that did not go our way. I used a back four because Madrid are very strong on the wings and it’s a system my players know perfectly well even if we have played with a three-man defence for a while. Claudio Marchisio did very well on the wing, we played a very good game overall but it was not easy in the second half with ten men.
“We played at the same level as Madrid and we could even have won. Now everything is certainly more difficult but we proved we can be competitive against any opponent. Last year we were outclassed by Bayern while this season we played a great game against a team who are more or less at the same level as the European champions. So I don’t think we are in crisis as many said on the eve of the game – quite the opposite actually.” – The Juventus manager said after the game.
Real Madrid v Juventus – Statistics
Cristiano Ronaldo put up a fantastic performance for Real Madrid last night. The Portuguese winger was a constant thorn in the sight of the Juventus defence and troubled them with his pace, strength and wonderful movement. Ronaldo scored both the goals for his side and was also the reason why Juventus went down to 10-men in the second half. The above heat-map depicts his movement and positioning on the pitch.