NEWS
Tuesday November 5 2013
Juve hold Real in 2-2 thriller

Arturo Vidal and Fernando Llorente wiped out Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in a sparkling Juventus 2-2 Real Madrid.

It can still be a positive result, as Copenhagen beat Galatasaray 1-0 in the other game. This means Juve are bottom, but only one point shy of the other two teams.

This was a must-win game for the Bianconeri, who had just two points from three Champions League Group B games. Giorgio Chiellini was suspended after his controversial red card in the 2-1 defeat at the Bernabeu, so Kwadwo Asamoah was used on the left to counter Gareth Bale in a 4-3-3, but Mirko Vucinic and Stephan Lichtsteiner were still sidelined. Carlo Ancelotti benched Raul Arbeloa, moving Sergio Ramos to right-back.

Paul Pogba’s screamer from distance flashed wide after four minutes, while the packed Juventus Stadium crowd jeered loudly whenever Real’s players – dressed all in orange – had the ball.

A Cristiano Ronaldo angled drive was inches past the far post, while Fernando Llorente burst into the area only to see his shot charged down, then Gigi Buffon smothered a Gareth Bale attempt after he had shaken off Martin Caceres.

On 16 minutes Pepe tried to anticipate Llorente on Pogba’s cross with the outside of his boot and instead almost scored an own goal, forcing Iker Casillas to perform a stunning reaction save from point-blank range.

Claudio Marchisio thought he had scored when his header downwards found a Tevez cross, but Casillas stuck out a shin to parry it off the line in an extraordinary save.

Casillas was again called into action by beating away an Arturo Vidal snapshot, then the goalkeeper was caught out from the corner, but nobody was able to bundle it over the line.

Pogba burst into the box and Raphael Varane mistimed his sliding tackle, so English referee Howard Webb pointed to the spot. Vidal stepped up and blasted it into the roof of the net, where even Casillas on this form couldn’t get to it.

Real Madrid forced their first corner of the game at the 44th minute and it was a dangerous one, as the ball ricocheted around the six-yard box before it was cleared. Ronaldo fired a great chance over the bar from Marcelo’s cross, as Karim Benzema went for the ball too and clattered into his teammate.

After the restart Martin Caceres had his poor backpass intercepted by Benzema, who threaded through for Cristiano Ronaldo to lift the finish over Buffon one-on-one. This means the Portuguese talent has netted in every Champions League game this season for a total eight goals.

Juventus seemed shell-shocked and moments later Xabi Alonso’s rocket cracked against the crossbar.

However, the Bianconeri had another fantastic opportunity to score. Pogba set up Marchisio to force a Casillas save from point-blank range, then the Italian saw his rebound effort cleared off the line by Pepe.

It was Real who turned the game around, as Ronaldo rolled across for Bale in far too much space and he fired it low into the near bottom corner.

Ronaldo hit a counter straight at Buffon, but Llorente got his second goal against Real Madrid in two games. He got away from Varane for a strong header on the Caceres cross from six yards to equalise.

It was wide open in Turin and Benzema got between centre-backs only to blast wide, then Leonardo Bonucci charged down a Sergio Ramos effort in the box and Casillas had to beat away a Tevez scorcher.

Fabio Quagliarella replaced a tired Tevez and immediately tested the goalkeeper with a shot on the turn from the edge of the box. Ronaldo also went on a mazy run past four players, but nobody was there to meet his chipped pass.

Casillas smothered another Quagliarella strike late on.

Juventus 2-2 Real Madrid

Scorers: Vidal pen 42 (J), Ronaldo 52 (R), Bale 60 (R), Llorente 65 (J)

Juventus: Buffon; Caceres, Barzagli, Bonucci, Asamoah; Vidal, Pirlo, Pogba; Tevez (Quagliarella 81), Llorente (Giovinco 88), Marchisio

Real Madrid: Casillas; Ramos, Varane, Pepe, Marcelo; Khedira, Xabi Alonso (Illaramendi 71), Modric; Bale (Di Maria 75), Benzema (Jese Rodriguez 81), Cristiano Ronaldo

Ref: Webb (ENG)

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