MADRID (Sporting Alert) — Real Madrid took a Juventus 1-0 in the second leg of their Champions League semi-finals, but the visitors have answered back. Cristiano Ronaldo scored the opener from the penalty spot before former Real man Alvaro Morata knotted things up. Juventus win 3-2 on aggregate and will face Barcelona in the final.
Juventus took a 2-1 lead into tonight’s Champions League semi-final second leg clash with Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SEMI-FINAL SECOND LEG
Live Streaming & Coverage: Live BBC Sports text commentary, Live FoxSoccer2Go Streaming
Date: Wed, 13 May
Kick-off: 1:45 CT
The winner of this matchup on Wednesday night will face-off with Barcelona, who booked their place in the final after securing a 5-3 aggregate victory over Bayern Munich, Tuesday night.
Juventus will welcome back star midfielder Paul Pogba, who is set to start after recovering from a thigh injury that kept him out of the first leg win.
The Frenchman started and scored in the Serie A 1-1 draw with Cagliari over the weekend and he is expected to retain his place for the Real Madrid trip.
“Paul Pogba is OK and he’ll probably play from the first minute,” said Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri. “He’s an important player and he can show his quality and maturity.”
Allegri was also full of praises for striker Carlos Tévez, who scored and made an assists in the first leg and former Madrid player Alvaro Morata, who also added a goal for the Italian giants.
“Carlos Tévez is an amazing player,” the boss said. “He’s played really well this season and scored some very important goals in the UEFA Champions League.
“Álvaro Morata has grown up a lot. He was injured for about a month at the beginning of the season but he has shown real technical ability. I think he can get better and better.”
Pogba was in all smiles during the team’s final session ahead of the clash and the 22-year-old confirmed that the Italian champions, who are in the semi-finals for the first time since 2003, are ready to “do everything” to make the decider.
“We know it’s going to be really difficult,” he said. “They’re used to playing in semi-finals and they won the competition last year.
“They’re playing at home so it’s going to be even harder for us. But we want to win and we’ll do everything we can to pull it off.”
Real Madrid, in the meantime, have also been handed an injury boost, with striker Karim Benzema returning from a knee problem that kept him out of action for a month.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti revealed that the forward will play some part in the contest, as he gives the team “different options.”
“Benzema is fine,” Ancelotti said. “He’s 100 per cent fit. He needed a little more time to recover but he’s ready.
“He could play from the start or he could come later on. Chicarito (Javier Hernandez) gives us different options but Benzema helps the whole team play better.
“In recent games, in the game against Valencia and Sevilla, the team played very well… but lacked concentration in details and this is the type of thing we must avoid doing.
“We must be focused throughout the whole game to avoid these problems. We need to play with greater intensity than in the first leg.”
Forward Gareth Bale did not have a very good outing in the first leg, but Ancelotti is confident the Wales international will come good in the second leg.
Luka Modric and Sami Khedira are both ruled out of the game, but midfielder Toni Kroos could be available despite coming off against Valencia with a minor problem.
Real Madrid: Casillas; Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo; James Rodríguez, Kroos, Isco; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo.
Juventus: Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Bonucci, Chiellini, Evra; Pogba, Pirlo, Marchisio; Vidal; Morata, Tévez.