Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace, but also got Giorgio Chiellini harshly sent off as an impressive Juventus fell 2-1 to Real Madrid.
This result puts the 10-man Bianconeri in a difficult position, as Galatasaray beat Copenhagen 3-1 to leapfrog into second place on four points to Juve’s two.
Antonio Conte was the captain of Carlo Ancelotti’s Juventus side, but they came face-to-face at the Bernabeu as Coaches. Conte radically altered his 3-5-2 system to a 4-3-3 with Claudio Marchisio pushed up alongside Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente. Mirko Vucinic, Fabio Quagliarella and Stephan Lichtsteiner were injured, so Martin Caceres and Angelo Ogbonna received rare starts. Real only missed Xabi Alonso, while Gareth Bale, Fabio Coentrao and Raphael Varane were only fit for the bench.
The Bianconeri had just two draws against Copenhagen and Galatasaray, while Real Madrid were on a 100 per cent record so far. Juve were unbeaten against Real Madrid since a 1-0 here in February 2005, winning three on the bounce.
In the opening 90 seconds Marchisio hit a screamer that Iker Casillas palmed round the post for a corner. However, Real Madrid took the lead when Cristiano Ronaldo sprung the offside trap from an Angel Di Maria slide-rule pass, dribbling round Gigi Buffon to deposit into an empty net. Caceres was late getting back and kept him in play.
Casillas did well to punch a cross off Llorente’s head, while Tevez and Caceres drilled wide. Tevez skipped past two players on the Juventus left only to then curl just over the bar.
Juventus managed to equalise when Casillas did very well to palm a Paul Pogba header off the line from a Caceres cross, but Llorente pounced on the rebound from a couple of yards.
A free kick was floated into the box for Buffon to catch, but the goal line referee signalled a Chiellini shirt-tug on Sergio Ramos. Ronaldo converted the penalty powerfully into the near top corner. It was the Portuguese star’s seventh goal in three Champions League games.
Andrea Pirlo turned over after Pepe charged down a Marchisio effort in the box, while Ronaldo fired wide. Juventus went into half-time trailing 2-1 despite having 52 per cent possession and 10 shots on goal to four at the Bernabeu.
Straight after the restart, things got worse for Conte’s men, as Chiellini was very harshly shown a straight red card. He ran shoulder-to-shoulder with Ronaldo and held an arm across his chest, but the Portuguese international went down clutching his face and the referee opted for a dismissal.
Karim Benzema should’ve scored a third for Real Madrid on the hour mark, but he incredibly prodded over from a couple of yards when Di Maria rolled across the face of goal.
Pirlo was surprisingly replaced by Kwadwo Asamoah, but received a standing ovation from the Bernabeu crowd. Vidal had a bizarre moment when he kicked the turf and went down in the box.
Sebastian Giovinco came on and within 40 seconds had forced Casillas into a fingertip save with his daisy-cutter.
Sami Khedira went clear, but only chipped his finish into Buffon’s arms, while a Giovinco free kick was off target and the Atomic Ant was eventually crowded out in the box from Leonardo Bonucci’s pass as 10-man Juve were still very much in this game to the end. Real even resorted to time-wasting tactics in the final minutes, to the chagrin of the home crowd.
Real Madrid 2-1 Juventus
Scorers: Ronaldo 4, pen 29 (R), Llorente 22 (J)
Real Madrid: Casillas; Arbeloa, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo; Khedira, Illarramendi (Isco 72), Modric; Di Maria (Morata 79), Benzema (Bale 67), Cristiano Ronaldo
Juventus: Buffon; Caceres, Barzagli, Chiellini, Ogbonna (Giovinco 69); Vidal, Pirlo (Asamoah 59), Pogba; Marchisio, Tevez, Llorente (Bonucci 50)
Ref: Grafe (GER)
Sent off: Chiellini 48 (J)