Juventus
    05.06.2015 09:47 - in: Champions League S

    Juve’s route to the final: knockout stages

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    A review of the Bianconeri’s 2014/15 Champions League last 16, quarter-final and semi-final ties against Borussia Dortmund, Monaco and Real Madrid respectively

    Last 16

    Juventus 2-1 Borussia Dortmund, 24 February 2015, Juventus Stadium

    First-half strikes from Carlos Tevez and Alvaro Morata gained Juventus a first-leg foothold in their Champions League last 16 tie against Borussia Dortmund, with Marco Reus grabbing an away goal in a 2-1 win for the hosts.

    Thirteen minutes had elapsed when Tevez put the Bianconeri in front with a typical poacher’s finish, arriving first on the scene to sweep home a Morata shot that had been pushed into his path by Roman Weidenfeller. 

    But Reus was quick to silence a capacity Juventus Stadium crowd, profiting from a Giorgio Chiellini slip to send a firm strike cannoning past Gigi Buffon just five minutes later.

    Two minutes before the break, Juventus regained their advantage through the ever impressive Morata, who was on hand to convert after being picked out by Paul Pogba’s low cross.

    Despite both sides having chances to add to the scoreline during a second half that matched the first for its energy, the score remained locked at 2-1, setting up an equally intriguing encounter in Germany.

    Borussia Dortmund 0-3 Juventus, 18 March 2015, Westfalenstadion

    A Tevez double and Morata strike sent the Bianconeri marching on through to the Champions League quarter-finals courtesy of a magnificent 3-0 success (5-1 on aggregate) over Borussia Dortmund in Germany.

    The initiative was immediately seized with three minutes on the clock. There was seemingly little danger on when Tevez picked the ball up outside the box, although the Argentine assassin had other ideas, dispatching a clean strike that flew past Weidenfeller from all of 25 yards.

    As Dortmund attempted to muster a fightback by committing further bodies forward in the second half, Juventus pounced again, goalscorer Tevez turning provider to present Morata with the simplest of finishes from a matter of yards.

    Further gloss was added to a spectacular team performance when L’Apache confidently smashed a right-footed strike past Weidenfeller in the encounter’s closing stages to seal the Bianconeri’s second Champions League quarter-final spot in three years. 

    Quarter-final

    Juventus 1-0 Monaco, 14 April 2015, Juventus Stadium

    A second-half Arturo Vidal penalty gained the Bianconeri a Champions League quarter-final first leg advantage from their opening  tie with Monaco at  Juventus Stadium.

    A lively encounter, played out in front of a wonderful atmosphere in Turin, saw both sides have their chances but Juventus prevail after Ricardo Carvalho’s foul on Morata in the box presented an opportunity to convert for Vidal, who thumped home from 12 yards just ahead of the hour mark.

    The introduction of Andrea Barzagli in place of the returning Andrea Pirlo helped the Bianconeri protect their lead in the face of increased Monaco pressure, meaning they headed to France the following week with a useful advantage.

    Monaco 0-0 Juventus, 22 April 2015, Stade Louis II

    A resilient display in Monte Carlo saw Juventus reclaim their place among Europe’s top four for the first time since 2003, with Monaco edged out 1-0 on aggregate following two combative legs of Champions League football.

    Massimiliano Allegri’s men were forced to draw on all their character and vigour to resist the hosts’ attempts to overturn an advantage established through Vidal’s penalty in the first leg.

    But aside from a few alarms that sounded as Monaco turned the screw in the second half, Juventus were able to pass a stern test of their defensive mettle with flying colours, preserving a precious clean sheet that was enough to see them safely through to the competition’s final four.

    Semi-final

    Juventus 2-1 Real Madrid, 5 May 2015, Juventus Stadium

    Goals in each half from Morata and Tevez handed Juventus a 2-1 semi-final first leg advantage over Real Madrid in their bid for a place in the Champions League final.

    It was a dream start for the hosts who snatched the lead with just eight minutes on the clock through Morata’s tap-in, only for Cristiano Ronaldo to level matters with a close-range header just minutes past the midway point of the first half.

    An equally combative opening to the second half swung in the Bianconeri’s favour when Tevez broke on the counter and attracted a foul in the box from Dani Carvajal on 56 minutes, leaving Martin Atkinson with no choice but to point to the penalty spot.

    Up stepped the Argentine assassin to wrong-foot Iker Casillas and drive the ball straight down the middle of the target, a goal that proved the eventual decider of an epic tie between two of Europe’s most prestigious clubs.

    Real Madrid 1-1 Juventus, 13 May 2015, Santiago Bernabeu

    A second-half Morata equaliser enabled Juventus to set up a Champions League final meeting with Barcelona courtesy of a 3-2 aggregate triumph over Real Madrid on an incredible night at the Santiago Bernabeu.

    Heading into the game with a slender lead following the first leg seven days previously, the Bianconeri saw the pendulum swing in the hosts’ favour when Ronaldo converted from the spot on 23 minutes.

    But Morata, who swapped Madrid for Turin in the summer, had what proved to be the final say, sealing a place in this year’s Champions League final in Berlin with a purposeful close-range finish past Casillas that ended the club’s 12-year absence from the competition’s ultimate hurdle.

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