Real Madrid beats Juventus 2-1

Brazilian left back Roberto Carlos scored a 73rd-minute game-winner on Tuesday as defending champion Real Madrid beat two-time winner Juventus 2-1 in the first

updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
  • Total Shares


Brazilian left back Roberto Carlos scored a 73rd-minute game-winner on Tuesday as defending champion Real Madrid beat two-time winner Juventus 2-1 in the first leg of the semifinals of the Champions Cup at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. Roberto Carlos' goal gave Madrid a slender lead to take into the second leg at the Delle Alpi Stadium in Turin, Italy, on May 14. Ronaldo, Madrid's other Brazilian star, opened the scoring in the 23rd minute. French striker David Trezeguet equalized in the last minute of the first half. Juventus, despite lacking suspended defender Paolo Montero and midfielders Alessio Tacchinardi and Edgar Davids, gave a typically industrious display against a Madrid team aiming to gain a record 10th title. "The game developed as I had predicted. We did extremely well against a very dangerous team. My only reproach is that we lost," Juventus coach Marcello Lippi said. Madrid coach Vicente del Bosque, who led the team to Champions Cup wins in 2000 and 2002, said he thought his team deserved a greater margin of victory. "It was a good match, with both sides performing at the level of top European teams. After Juventus had taken control following its goal we did well to fight back. We would have been unflattered by a bigger win," he said. Del Bosque sprung a surprise by selecting Spanish international Fernando Morientes -- omitted almost all season -- as the replacement for striker Raul Gonzalez, who is recovering from an appendix operation. "I didn't expect those tactics. As I result I had to move (Gianluca) Zambrotta a little more to the right," said Lippi, who won the Champions League in 1996 but lost the next two years' finals, the second against Madrid. Madrid, which suffered a humiliating 5-1 league defeat at home against Mallorca on Saturday, began badly and Trezeguet should have scored after an eighth-minute mistake by defender Ivan Helguera. The European champion responded eight minutes later when Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon clawed away an in-swinging free kick by midfielder Zinedine Zidane. Zidane, who played on the losing team in the 1998 Champions League final when Madrid beat Juventus 1-0 in Amsterdam, was fast emerging as his team's best player as Madrid forced the Italian champion into a rearguard action. Madrid took the lead in the 23rd minute through a move which Ronaldo began by passing to Morientes. The Spanish international did well to return the ball and the Brazilian showed a characteristic burst of speed before sidefooting the ball past the outstretched Buffon from just outside the area. Juventus was forced to resort to harsh tactics to stem Madrid's flow and defenders Alessando Birindelli and Mark Iuliano and midfielder Gianluca Zambrotta all received yellow cards over the succeeding minutes. "We suffered in the first half when Madrid demonstrated all its ability. Against Madrid any mistakes you pay for," Lippi said. But moments after Morientes had fired over following good work by Ronaldo, Juventus equalized against the run of play just before the interval. Striker Alessandro del Piero's shot was deflected by Madrid right back Michel Salgado into the path of Trezeguet, who had time to control the ball before stabbing the ball past goalkeeper Iker Casillas for what could be an all-important away goal. "The goal was a real blow after we had dominated the first half. It reduced our strength," del Bosque said. Madrid's hopes of restoring its lead did not appear to be helped when the injured Ronaldo was replaced by Javier Portillo in the 50th minute. Del Bosque said later that Ronaldo had suffered a calf injury but gave no more details. Juventus, however, displayed renewed confidence, frustrating Madrid's attacking moves and creating its own chances, with Del Piero coming close twice and Zambrotta heading just over. "I thought at that stage, Madrid had started to look a little tired," Lippi said. Most of the 75,000 crowd began to look disheartened although Portillo almost lifted their spirits when he just failed to connect with low cross by Roberto Carlos in the 70th minute. Madrid took the lead again three minutes later when the Brazilian left back netted with a long-range shot after Juventus had failed to clear a corner. As many as three players looked offside and play was briefly halted while Norwegian referee Terje Hauge spoke to his assistant, but he allowed the goal. Neither coach would discuss the goal's legality. Lippi said "the referee deemed that the players were not interfering with play. There is nothing more to be said." Del Bosque added that he never discussed refereeing decisions. Juventus' veteran defender Ciro Ferrara was issued with a yellow card for a 80th-minute foul on Luis Figo, ruling him out of next week's second leg. The Italian team survived some frantic moments in the dying moments as Madrid strove for a third goal. "The return match will be more or less the same. We will need to be careful against a team with has such great individual ability. Above all, we need to make sure we don't make mistakes," Lippi concluded. Del Bosque remained confident. "At this level it's very hard for a team to gain an unattainable lead after the first match. We aim to continue our good work when we go to Turin." (AP)