Wednesday April 4 2018
Juve always short in Europe

Cristiano Ronaldo all but assured the holders’ progress to the semi-finals, but it was the manner of the defeat that was telling, writes Nick Valerio

When it comes to the Champions League, Juventus always fall short and that has turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more they falter at the key moments, the worse their confidence when approaching new hurdles. In a way, Juve in Europe reflect Napoli’s quest for the Scudetto.

Barring a second leg miracle at the Bernabeu, Gianluigi Buffon’s ambition to bow out with that elusive Champions League medal will go unfulfilled. It was going to take something special to beat the Italy legend on the night after conceding one measly Serie A effort in 2018 and, predictably, it was Juventus nemesis Cristiano Ronaldo who made the Bianconeri suffer again.

The Portugal captain has struck nine times against Max Allegri’s men, more than any other side in the tournament since his debut in 2002 for boyhood club Sporting CP. Ronaldo’s double on the night will quite rightly get the plaudits, particularly his astonishing overhead kick which drew a standing ovation from the Juventus tifosi, but it was the gulf in quality between the sides which really stood out.

Sami Khedira, for all his merits, was willingly sold in 2015 by Real, who upgraded their midfield with the signing of compatriot Toni Kroos. The ex-Bayern Munich playmaker has formed a telepathic partnership with Luka Modric, comparable to that of Xavi and Andres Iniesta in their pomp, and the duo toyed with Khedira and partner Rodrigo Bentancur.

The Uruguayan was visibly frustrated throughout, but with Claudio Marchisio seemingly out of favour, the options were limited and this only further magnified the need for reinforcements in defence and midfield in the summer.

Sure, Juventus had their moments, but overall were second best and looked a shadow of the side that has asserted its dominance over Serie A. In contrast, Madrid may be struggling on the home front, but they are a different animal on the continent and the hosts’ uncharacteristically slack defending was a welcome bonus for Zinedine Zidane’s history makers.

The Italian giants are quite rightly revered across Europe, but their inferiority complex when facing Los Blancos is often glaring. Buffon, a proud man himself, even alluded to this in his post-match comments and this feeling is comparable to that of Napoli domestically. The Azzurri make great strides every season, but are not quite there yet, and Juventus face similar obstacles themselves in Europe.

Of course, there are mitigating factors that led to the result and referee Cuneyt Cakır did not help Allegri’s game plan. The infamous Turk came to prominence in 2013 when he sent off Manchester United star Nani in the Last 16 encounter with Madrid. The Red Devils were dominating proceedings and held the advantage in the tie before Cakir controversially carded the winger. The spectacle was ruined once more when Paulo Dybala was given his marching orders before the hour mark and everything that could have gone wrong for Juventus, did.

Meanwhile, Madrid superstar Ronaldo continues to make a mockery of the doubters. The Portugal captain has 23 strikes this calendar year alone and is the first player in Champions League history to score in 10 consecutive matches. The 33-year-old was ruthless, so often the difference, and should go down as one of the game’s best ever goalscorers.

Have your say...
Juventus fall apart every year in one game, the first goal was so easy to avoid, then the second what was Chiellini doing, Dybala was hard done by to get a red. But stupid errors and no luck at all just means they end up getting slaughtered. Juventus are cursed in the competition. They will never win it, the midfield is too slow, the defence is getting old, and they lack pace in attack. Money needs to be spent. But how can you compete with Barca, Madrid, Bayern and soon to be city I suspect.
on the 4th April, 2018 at 8:47am
Juventus are carrying the country, so yeah I hope the Milan teams, or Roma tonight, or Napoli do start to perform, and attract players to Italy, as all players want to win the champions league and will not spend long with Italian teams as they know it won’t happen with them. Italy is a stepping stone to the better European clubs now day.
on the 4th April, 2018 at 8:44am
The truth had been said.juventus win in italy because the milan teams are shadow of themselves.Allegri is a local coarch and is not capable of leading juventus to european glory.Allegri consolation has always been leading juventus to two finals in three years and as such claims to be a top coarch.juventus should go for a young coarch who in his days like zaindan a top player who has a clear football ideas.there are certain players in juve now that are players of middle teams in seria A.
on the 4th April, 2018 at 8:44am
Can the people at FI please ban comments saying Jove get hep in Series A, it’s so boring now, it’s the only go to any other team supporter has, it is tedious now, other teams were punished for the same thing and Inter should have been, the courts have said that. Juve played ok last night, but Madrid are ruthless, they scored three and hit the bar twice and they did not play well. Yet again people criticise Juventus, but where are the other Italian teams year after year.
on the 4th April, 2018 at 8:44am
Juve's attacking play was far too slow and predictable last night. They attacked in numbers but Real were able to set out their defence any easily deny them space. The Juve wingers were able to put in a few decent crosses but Higuain is not a striker that scores from crosses he and Dybala play through the middle. Juve need a striker that can score headers from crosses. Also why did the ref book Dybala for diving when the Real players were diving all over the place before that!
on the 4th April, 2018 at 8:34am
@CARPE DIEM keep deluding yourself that you are content with just being a "top 5 club" in the world (arguably).
Your posts are 90% pointless and childish, and please stop pretending to be Italian by throwing out of context Italian words and phrases into your posts.
Juve have a long way to go before they become great in Europe, and yes I too am starting to believe Allegri is not the right manager for UCL.
RM were simply hungrier and finished their chances - Juve didn't.
on the 4th April, 2018 at 8:20am
So the team that is about to win the Seria A title for the 7th time in a row was again humilaited by Real(2 years in a row)and Barcelona.

What a great ad for Italian football.Thanks Juve.
on the 4th April, 2018 at 7:53am
Didn’t take chances. Nearly lost to Tottenham as a result of this when should have buried the first leg and again last night could have had three in first half, didn’t even get one. That’s the little details which change games. Second class strikers - same problem as with the national team.
on the 4th April, 2018 at 7:45am
What has happened to Juve of the old.Juve used to field 7 top class Italian players,now they collect players from all over the world like Inter and Arsenal.Its not Juve of old,no chemistry,no commitment,no belief.Truth is Juve admin thinks of money,Allegri was never more than a Serie A coach and he only conquered Serie A due to Milan,Inter instability.Juve were hitting walls but he could not give any new idea,introduce a good player.His response to BeIN channel was even more hilarious!
on the 4th April, 2018 at 6:48am
Juventus are being helped by referees in Serie A, directly and directly, this is why they can dominate the competition. But when it comes to the Champions League, they face the reality of playing 11 against 11 without a referee, or a sideline official included; thus they come short. Italy's hopes to win the Champions League again won't happen without revitalising the system. Otherwise, it will take only a miracle to see an Italian team lifting most-sought trophy in Europe.
on the 4th April, 2018 at 6:46am
ciao amici!
I am sorry we lost today!
juve played very well first half!
Ronaldo goal was magnificent but painful to watch!
please don't wright us off yet!!! there is another 90 min left to be played next week with RAMOS out for real&pjanic in for us a 3-0 take us to extra time/penaly shoot out or 4-1 take us to the next round!
we have nothing to lose so I was wondering if we could play 3-2-5 formation!!
juve will fight to the end!!
on the 4th April, 2018 at 6:24am
Juve got a tough draw ending up with Madrid, but therir form in CL is outstanding...Juve just can’t match or take advantage of a lucky roll or call here or there. More proof Italian football just isn’t up to par. Not saying they can’t score 3 in Madrid...just very unlikely wth Madrid momentum and removal of dagger from Juve players hearts. Both Ronaldo goals were totally unstoppable. instantly placed where Buffon could do nothing but watch.
on the 4th April, 2018 at 5:36am
Play Rugani!
Humiliation. Really. It was terrible.
Now down to Roma to save face...
on the 4th April, 2018 at 4:51am
One of the best goal scorers ever? I'd say the best... and this is coming form someone who actually dislikes him quite a lot... no shortage of arrogance.. but he's a ruthless player... wish italy could produce these types of athletes... Not even Baggio was this clinical...
on the 4th April, 2018 at 3:46am
No, Juve aren't "revered across Europe" they are dismissed as chokers and cheats, especially since the disgrace of Moggiopoli. Only Milan and Inter are respected as the elite of European competition.
on the 4th April, 2018 at 3:36am
Last time Juve won CL was in 1996.

-Same year Michael Jordan won the NBA with Chicago Bulls

- Pete Sampras won US Open in tennis.

- 21 year old phenomenon turn pro in golf. His name is Tiger Woods.

- Alberto Tomba win world cup in slalom.

- Cristiano Ronaldo was 11 years old.

- Dybala was 3.
on the 4th April, 2018 at 3:16am
How many Clubs are there in the World?

Most of them are in a SEA OF NONSENSE.......

An incredible very small number are near the TOP OF THE TREE !!!

We are in the TOP FIVE !!!!

on the 4th April, 2018 at 3:06am
khedira fools allegri all the time. that match against milan he does nothing for 75mins but then picks up an assist and then a goal and we sing his praises. problem is against better teams it gets exposed. I have long stated marchisio is a big game player. and is more suited to the Pirlo role than pjanic. the game once again was lost in midfield. he has to play a 4-3-3 and hope real is in shambles without ramos. they have nothing to lose now just go for it.
on the 4th April, 2018 at 2:43am
Not too much of a surprise given this is the weakest Juve squad in several years. When Matuidi's your big summer signing, then you've got problems.

A reliance on aging players needs to stop, but Barzagli's been given a new contract.

Juve will need several top young players in the summer to make up the ground.

I just hope there isn't too much of this "when the Milan's get back into the CL, Italy will rule again" garbage.

The 2 Milan's have been an embarrassment in the CL in recent memory
on the 4th April, 2018 at 2:39am
However my prediction is wrong as I said that it will be either 1-1 or 1-2 for Real. Doesn't matter.

Away: Real 5-0 Juve.
on the 4th April, 2018 at 2:32am
on the 4th April, 2018 at 2:17am
The only positive I can take from this match is that the Juve higher ups will be finally convinced that Allegri is not the man for Europe.

Allegri has many positives, he is a good coach. But his downfall has always been his tendency to tinker with team before big games. We keep seeing that over and over again. Sometimes it works, but more often than not we see the cruel result.

De Sciglio should not have played. Where is Lichtsteiner?
Barzagli is a legend, but too slow for a team like Real. Rugani should have played. Marchisio is unfairly ignored.

I agree, however, that Juve needs some reinforcements over the summer.

This is not to put the blame solely on Allegri. Some of the players certainly under-performed.

We played for a good hour, then there was Ronaldo.

"their inferiority complex when facing Los Blancos is often glaring"

Only in the last 2 matches. Juve has a good record vs Real.

P.S. The man-beast also scored 9 goals vs Bayern.
on the 4th April, 2018 at 2:15am
Madrid are better than us, but the annoying part is Juve gave them too much respect - it almost felt like they were defeated mentally before the game even started. Amazes me how Barzagli still plays (combined age with Buffon is almost 80), even Chellini is showing signs of slowing down. Cash in on Sandro, Benatia, Cuadrado, Barzagli, Buffon need to go, Khedira and Matuidi arent good enough to win CL. Caldara, Bellerin, M-Savic, Pellegrini or Cann, and Pjaca back would be a good transfer window.
on the 4th April, 2018 at 2:02am
Ronaldo should be referred to as one of the games best PLAYERS, not merely a goalscorer. The objective of the sport we love is to win by scoring goals - doing so makes you a fantastic player. He is a genius in his own right - Juve fans can take a small comfort they lost to a freak of nature and talent.
The luck ran both ways - Ramos should NOT have received a yellow that suspends him for the reverse match - it just came down to quality and hunger. Madrid are still way ahead of Juve.
on the 4th April, 2018 at 1:45am
Juventus are always in the CL because they don't belong to that competition. I'll repeat this again, Juventus only win in Italy because Serie A is weak compared to other major leagues in Europe and it shows when they meet giants like Real Madrid or Barcelona. Juventus are like Rosenborg or Celtic, they win in Italy but that's it. They will never be a powerhouse in Europe like Milan, Real, Bayern or Barcelona.
on the 4th April, 2018 at 1:42am
Cleary JUVENTUS hasn't got a divine right to be the BEST side in the World!

Suffice to say, it's already a lot, and a great thing, to be amongst the TOP FIVE Clubs in the World!

on the 4th April, 2018 at 1:28am
will continue to struggle. Serie A needs a massive overhaul to return to the top including reducing the number of teams to 18 or 16, reigning in an out-of-control transfer market that sees over double the number of players transferred or loaned compared to the other big 5 leagues, significantly reducing squad sizes and a tactical or cultural overhaul where possession and attacking football is valued. Basically let's copy Spain.
on the 4th April, 2018 at 1:20am
their runaway success in Serie A, this is no great Juve side. Juve are breaking domestic records because the other teams around them are a shambles. Napoli, the latest would be contender, have for some reason failed to strengthen a fairly threadbare squad. Every year it seems one of the contenders has a meltdown. Meanwhile, the other teams in Serie A, particularly the mid-table sides, fail to show up against Juve. And so they'll add Scudetto number 36 (I count the Calciopoli titles) and Serie A
on the 4th April, 2018 at 1:15am
I'll always support Italian teams in Europe. I also have a huge amount of respect for this Juve side and see them as an inspiration for Milan and the other Italian teams who have lost their way. I also respect many of the players. However, some of the Juve fans are obnoxious. In the last few days we've had a bunch of petulant children attacking anyone who dares to criticise their mighty Juventus. Personally I put it down to a lack of self-confidence. Because deep down they know that despite
on the 4th April, 2018 at 1:10am
Yawn who cares. It still makes a lot more sense to win consistently, than win nothing at all for yrs on end.
on the 4th April, 2018 at 1:04am

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