Real Madrid 1-1 Juventus (agg 2-3): Italians stun holders to reach Champions League final

first_img1 Gianluigi Buffon Alvaro Morata came back to haunt Real Madrid with a crucial equaliser as Juventus earned a draw at the Bernabeu to reach the Champions League final.Leading 2-1 from the first leg, Juve fell behind when Cristiano Ronaldo struck from the penalty spot halfway through the first half, duly moving back level with Lionel Messi in the Champions League all-time scoring charts.Morata, however, popped up with the decisive contribution against his former employers just before the hour mark, firing in after being awarded far too much space.Gareth Bale spurned several clear-cut opportunities to send the game into extra time but the Old Lady clung on to dump the holders out and end the prospect of a Real-Barcelona final.Iker Casillas was the first goalkeeper called into action, getting down smartly to save Arturo Vidal’s fizzing effort.Real were then handed the opportunity to seize the initiative, with Giorgio Chiellini clumsily fouling James Rodriguez after a quarter of the game to put Ronaldo on the spot.The three-time Ballon d’Or winner, who missed a penalty at the weekend against Valencia, never looked likely to spurn the chance and he emphatically fired the reigning champions ahead on the night and on aggregate.Ronaldo then engineered space for himself but, for once, elected to pass rather than shoot when the former would have been the better option.The Italian champions settled and after the break struck the telling blow, as Casillas failed to keep out Morata’s bouncing effort after the Spaniard was allowed the freedom of the Madrid area.Bale then missed the first of his gilt-edged openings; volleying wide after a flowing move, before Casillas kept the hosts in contention by denying Claudio Marchisio.The Welshman screwed an effort wide and then nearly repeated his goal from last season’s final, but headed over as the Real crowd began to voice their displeasure.The Italians held their nerve to end Real’s hopes of becoming the first side to retain their title, duly securing their first final berth since 2003 and plunging Bale and Carlo Ancelotti into further uncertainty surrounding their Madrid futures.last_img read more

Buffon on ‘new path’ after saying goodbye to Juventus

first_imgJuventus ‘A new path will begin’ – Buffon says goodbye to Juventus Jamie Smith 06:06 5/19/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Gianluigi Buffon Getty Images Juventus Serie A Juventus v Hellas Verona Ahead of the legendary goalkeeper’s final appearance for the Old Lady, the legendary goalkeeper has said goodbye to the Serie A champions Gianluigi Buffon says it is time for a new journey to begin as the veteran goalkeeper prepares to play for Juventus for the final time.The 40-year-old, regarded as one of the finest goalkeepers ever, announced he is leaving Juve at a news conference on Thursday.Buffon, who also retired from international duty once more, suggested he could seek to play on away from Serie A, with Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain reportedly ready to make an offer. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now And Buffon posted an emotional farewell tribute to Juve ahead of Saturday’s home game against Verona, his last match for the club.”Thank you,” Buffon wrote in a lengthy post on Instagram. “Thanks to everyone of you. Because each of you has helped to make every moment of my life special in black and white. A life that has become a second skin. “A skin that I have worn, loved and respected. And that I have guarded and protected with all of myself. With all my limitations, but also with all the passion that has always accompanied me. “With tomorrow, a path ends. End a book we wrote together. The emotion is so great. Too much. “A new path will inevitably begin. A new book. It must begin. For Juventus that will remain beyond any player, always! And they will continue to write other important pages of this book that I think and imagine infinite. Because theirs is a unique and unparalleled DNA. Unrepeatable and magnificent. “Juve is a family. My family.”Buffon ends his Serie A career with nine league titles and five Coppa Italias, as well as a World Cup winners’ medal from the 2006 tournament, and the veteran suggested the opportunity to prove himself once more could entice him to play on.”A new path will inevitably begin,” Buffon continued. “A new book. It must begin. For me, I will learn to look at the future with different eyes.”I will begin to gather the new challenges that life will propose to me with the curiosity of those who do not want to stop feeling ‘at stake’.@OfficialAllegri @gianluigibuffon #UN1CO #Buffon— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) May 18, 2018″And I will feel the healthy fear of those who have experienced many challenges, sometimes won, many others lost, but who is aware that each of them is different from the previous one. And therefore more difficult.”last_img read more