REPORT | 05/11/2013 | Alberto Navarro (Turin)Goals from Ronaldo and Bale in a great second half, in which Alonso hit the bar, leave the Whites one point away from advancing as group leaders.
- Champions League
- 4 (Group Stage)
The teams took to the pitch with their very similar 4-3-3 systems. After five minutes Pogba was the first to try his luck, but his shot was wide of the mark. Madrid's response was twofold. Cristiano Ronaldo had a pop in the 9th minute that was just wide of Buffon's post and the match's first shot on target came four minutes later. Bale dug deep to steal the ball from Cáceres and have a shot with his right foot, but the home keeper was more than up to the task.
It was an end-to-end game and now it was the turn of Juventus. Pogba sent a cross in with the outside of his right foot when the clock read 17 and Pepe almost caught Casillas off-guard with his attempted clearance, but the keeper demonstrated a keen reflex in his first intervention. There was a lot a stake and it showed. The survival of the home team and the visitors' qualification for the next round were reward enough to mean that both teams fought until the end.
The Italian team kept pressing and could have taken the lead two minutes before the half-an-hour mark, but Casillas was fantastic once again. Vidal started the counter, Pogba continued it, Tévez crossed and Llorente finished with his head. The impressive intervention of the visiting shot-stopper only served to embellish the move.
It looked like the break would come before the first goal, but a dubious foul from Varane on Pogba led to the home team taking the lead. Vidal converted it in the 42nd minute, although celebrations in the Juventus Stadium could have been cut short in added time. Marcelo crossed and Cristiano Ronaldo shot over the bar from the penalty spot.
A comeback was needed in the second half and Real Madrid, who are used to overcoming any challenge they are presented with, set about the task. Bale's shot after 46 minutes was proof enough of their intentions.
Possession and dominance now belonged to the Whites and the home team were forced to sit back. The payback came when the clock read 52. Martín Cáceres made a fumble that Benzema cleverly took advantage of, recovering the ball and waiting for the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese, who has scored in every match he has played in the competition, beat Buffon in the one-on-one to level the match. The hard work was done
They were the best minutes for the Whites and the result could have been different f Xabi Alonso's sweet volley in the 56th minute had not hit the crossbar. Faced with the response of the home team, Casillas, who had a game to remember, made an opportune save from a point-blank Llorente strike in the 58th minute.
Two minutes later, Group B's leader struck once more. The counterattack was started by Ronaldo and Bale added the finishing touch with his left foot to give him his first goal in the tournament with the Whites, once again proving his worth. The joy was short-lived though as Cáceres' cross found Llorente, who headed home to level once more.
It was all to play for in a to-and-fro match with 25 minutes left to play. Three minutes later a new chance fell to Real Madrid. Modric let the ball through his legs and Benzema, on his own in front of Buffon, shot over the bar. An ambitious Real Madrid had Juventus on their back foot on their home turf, fighting until the last. It was a brave draw that means the team have practically qualified for the last sixteen as group leaders. One point from the next two matches will give them their goal.