Behind a double from Cristiano Ronaldo and a third from Marcelo, Real Madrid ran out 0-3 winners over Juventus in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg at Allianz Stadium on Tuesday night.
A third-minute strike by the Portugese star put the visitors in front and after numerous chances for an equalizer by Juve going wide, Los Blancos found a second and third to take a three-goal lead to the Bernabeu in just over a week’s time.
It wasn’t the start that Juve had planned as after just three minutes on the clock Real Madrid were in-front. Spanish midfielder Isco dribbled past the Juve defence down their left side to send in a low cross which Cristiano Ronaldo swept home. The Bianconeri rallied and almost responded immediately when a clever ball from Sami Khedira played in Paulo Dybala, but La Joya’s shot was deflected out by Sergio Ramos.
La Vecchia Signora grew in confidence, backed by the unwavering support of a packed Allianz Stadium, and on 12 minutes nearly equalized. Gonzalo Higuain played in Rodrigo Bentancur and the Uruguyan’s goal-bound shot was again cut out by Ramos. Juve would go even closer in the 23rd minute, as Dybala swung in a free-kick from the left-hand side which Higuain was able to get a foot onto, but Keylor Navas in the Real Madrid goal pulled off a fine save to deny Pipita from close range.
Later in the first half, a flowing Real Madrid attack found Toni Kroos in space and the German midfielder let fly from distance and saw his effort come back off the crossbar and Los Blancos took a 1-0 lead into the half.
In the second half, Juve nearly drew level when a deflected free-kick from Dybala left Navas stranded but the ball flashed to the wrong side of the goal going out for a corner. Ronaldo then doubled Real Madrid’s advantage when Dani Carvajal crossed the ball into the box from a Buffon save. Madrid’s number seven brilliantly improvised an overhead kick that left Buffon rooted to the spot bringing a round of applause even from the home supporters.
Just two minutes later and Paulo Dybala saw red as he picked up a second booking for a foul, having been carded towards the end of the first half. Real Madrid then went on to seal victory as Marcelo played a one-two with Ronaldo to get into the box. His shot was initially parried but was followed up again by the Brazilian to make it three.
The Bianconeri now turn their attention back to domestic matters when they travel to Benevento at the weekend as they aim to increase the gap at the top of the Serie A table, before heading to the Bernabeu for the return leg set for next Wednesday.