After the final whistle had sounded following a scintillating battle at Juventus Stadium, Antonio Conte spoke in glowing terms of the Bianconeri’s fearless approach in taking the game to a formidable Real Madrid side equipped with some of the world’s finest attacking talent.
Much of the hosts’ good work came during a fast-paced opening 45 minutes in which they forced Los Blancos on the back foot and drew several saves from eventual man-of-the-match Iker Casillas.
In total, 24 shots rained down on the Spaniard’s goal, the highest number Real have had to contend with since March 2005. Twelve of these hit the target, a stark contrast to the four efforts which forced Gigi Buffon into action.
Elsewhere, the encounter was evenly matched in across the board. Real shaded the possession stakes with 53.9 per cent of the ball, while the precision of deliveries (89.2 per cent) was five per cent higher than that of Conte’s men.
On the subject of passing, Andrea Pirlo was at his influential best in the middle of the park, keeping the play ticking with 94 completed passes, 13 more than any other player on the park.
In the final third, Arturo Vidal, whose perfectly executed penalty marked his fourth goal in Europe’s most prestigious club competition at Juventus Stadium, led in the way in terms of attempts (five), while Claudio Marchisio represented the greatest danger to the Real rearguard, having four shots blocked, two of which produced a dramatic double goal-line salvo by Casillas and Pepe.