REPORT | 23/10/2013 | Alberto NavarroA brace from Ronaldo, the Champions League’s top scorer, gave Madrid the win over Juventus in a vibrant encounter, leaving The Whites all but qualified from the group.
- Champions League
- Matchday 3 (Group Stage)
- Wed, 23 Oct
They soon showed it. They only needed four minutes. That is all Di María required to see Cristiano Ronaldo unmarked, playing him in with a magical ball between the lines. The Portugal international, with ice-cold blood, calmly rounded Buffon and scored his sixth goal in the competition. It was an outstanding goal and a statement of intent from what was their first foray into the opposition’s box. The way the Portuguese celebrated with the provider shows what a special connection the players have.
The goal didn’t only surprise Juventus, who themselves came close to taking the lead in the second minute as Marchisio forced Casillas into a stunning save, but it also made them come forward. The match was more vibrant and the Turin outfit were the next to draw blood. Cáceres put the ball in from the right and Pogba’s effort hit the far post, and Casillas could only claw the ball off the line as far as Llorente, who was alert enough to react and level the game after 22 minutes.
The match was even, but the visitor’s joy was short lived. Madrid needed four minutes to put themselves ahead on the night, and following the equaliser they only needed seven to regain the lead. Modric’s free kick was aimed towards Sergio Ramos, who was clearly impeded by Chiellini. Cristiano Ronaldo, unflappable this season from the penalty spot, punished the visitors as he registered his seventh goal in the competition, showing his credentials as the Champions League’s top scorer.
No spectators were bored at the Santiago Bernabéu. The match was back and forth, and Cristiano Ronaldo came extremely close to sealing his hat trick in a counterattack just before the break.
The second half started following the script of the first, and if enough hadn’t happened in this exciting match, there was a red card in the 48th minute. Chiellini stopped a marauding run from Ronaldo with an elbow and the referee showed him a direct red card. The match was then further dominated by The Whites, who worked hard in their efforts for a third.
It might have come in the 60th minute. The play certainly deserved it. Di María saw the overlap of Arbeloa and played him in over two visiting defenders. The Spain international controlled the ball and set up Benzema, who shot over the bar. Minutes later the Frenchman was substituted for Bale, and Illarra for Isco.
Khedira, with a piece of individual skill in the 72nd, and Morata, who had come on for Di María, tried but were unable to add to the scoreline in the second half. The Whites recorded a deserved victory at home against Juventus, and they’re now tantalisingly close to the round of 16 in Europe’s premier club competition. They can qualify in Turin.