Juventus
    12.05.2015 13:15 - in: Champions League S

    Real’s route to the semis

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    Step by step, Juventus.com charts Los Blancos’ journey to this season’s Champions League final four

    Group B

    Real Madrid 5-1 FC Basel, 16 September 2014, Santiago Bernabeu

    Real Madrid began their title defence with a resounding 5-1 Group B triumph over FC Basel. A Marek Suchý own goal on 14 minutes set the wheels in motion, with Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and James Rodriguez establishing a four-goal lead before Derlis Gonzalez pulled one back on 38 minutes.

    With the floodgates now firmly open, the Santiago Bernabeu would have been forgiven for thinking there would be more goalmouth action to come in the second 45, but one strike, from Karim Benzema on 79 minutes, was the only addition to the scoresheet as Basel closed ranks. 

    Ludogorets 1-2 Real Madrid, 1 October 2014, Ludogorets Arena

    Real’s second group game saw them come through a stern test of character on a tough night in Sofia, where an early Marcelinho goal and Ronaldo missed penalty meant they had to dig deep for all three points.

    The Portuguese international was given the opportunity to atone for his error on 24 minutes, this time finding the back of the net in spite of penalty specialist Vladislav Stoyanov guessing the right way.

    Substitute Benzema wrapped up the victory 13 minutes from time, preserving the visitors’ 100 per cent start to their 2014/15 Champions League campaign.

    Liverpool 0-3 Real Madrid, 22 October 2014, Anfield

    No such difficulties were experienced in Liverpool where a rampant first-half performance by Los Blancos put the final outcome beyond any doubt.

    Ex-Manchester United winger Ronaldo silenced the Kop with an opener on 23 minutes, before Benzema ensured the visitors were in cruise control by netting a double ahead of the break. 

    Real Madrid 1-0 Liverpool, 4 November 2014, Santiago Bernabeu

    Benzema maintained his record of scoring in every Group B game by hitting the winner when the two sides resumed hostilities two weeks later in the Spanish capital.

    The French powerhouse netted with 27 minutes played to make it four wins out of four for Carlo Ancelotti’s men, a result which secured their safe passage through to the competition’s last 16 stage. 

    FC Basel 0-1 Real Madrid, 26 November 2014, St.Jakob-Park

    An efficient performance in Switzerland saw Real Madrid preserve their 100 per cent start to the 2014/15 Champions League, with Ronaldo striking on 35 minutes to clinch all three points.

    The result ended the race for Group B top spot, leaving Basel, Liverpool and Ludogorets to battle it out for the second and final qualification berth.

    Real Madrid 4-0 Ludogorets, 9 December 2014, Santiago Bernabeu

    Real wrapped up a record sixth consecutive group stage win with a comfortable 4-0 dismantling of Ludogorets on home turf.

    Ronaldo put Ancelotti’s men in front from the spot after 20 minutes and Bale made it two shortly before the half-time break.

    Alvaro Arbeloa added to the scoreline late on, with substitute Alvaro Medran’s first goal for Real’s senior side applying extra gloss to a good night at the office for the reigning European champions. 

    Last 16

    FC Schalke 0-2 Real Madrid, 18 February 2015, Veltins Arena

    Goals either side of half-time from Ronaldo and Marcelo enabled Real to put one foot in the quarter-finals with a solid 2-0 triumph over Roberto Di Matteo’s troops in Gelsenkirchen.

    Real Madrid 3-4 FC Schalke, 10 March 2015, Santiago Bernabeu

    It was a different story entirely three weeks later though, as a valiant Schalke almost prevented Real from booking their place in the quarter-finals for a fifth year running.

    Christian Fuchs and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar twice put the visitors in front, with a Ronaldo double ensuring both teams went into the break all square. Los Blancos looked to be home and dry when Benzema put them 3-2 up on the night, only for Leory Sane and Huntelaar to set up a nervy finale at a tense Bernabeu.

    Just one more goal was needed for Schalke to go through and Real had to call on the services of Iker Casillas to block Benedikt Howedes’ injury time effort and seal a quarter-final spot as the visitors poured forward.

    Quarter-final

    Atletico Madrid 0-0 Real Madrid, 14 April 2015, Vicente Calderon

    A strong grip on possession and double the amount of shots on goal were not enough for Real as the inter-city rivals played out an enthralling affair at the Vicente Calderon that ultimately ended goalless.

    Jan Oblak pulled off a string of fine saves for the hosts, enabling them to extend their unbeaten run over their neighbours to seven matches in all competitions.

    Real Madrid 1-0 Atletico Madrid, 22 April 2015, Santiago Bernabeu

    A last-gasp Javier Hernandez strike on 88 minutes took Ancelotti’s men into the semi-finals amid scenes of jubilation at the Bernabeu.

    Ronaldo’s late burst into the penalty area provided the pivotal moment, with Hernandez sweeping the loose ball home to bag the holders’ fifth Champions League semi-final in as many years.

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