Mon | Jan 21, 2019

Real Madrid, Juventus in European Champions League semis

Published:Thursday | April 23, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Real Madrid’s Chicharito (left) scores the game’s only goal past Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak during the second leg quarter-final Champions League football match at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, yesterday.


A late goal by Javier 'Chicharito' Hern·ndez gave Real Madrid a tense 1-0 win over 10-man Atletico Madrid and a place in the Champions League semi-finals yesterday.

After the first leg of their quarter-final had finished 0-0 last week, Hern·ndez missed three good chances to break the deadlock for the cup holders before finding the net in the 88th minute from close range following a pass by Cristiano Ronaldo.

By then, Atletico were down to 10 men after midfielder Arda Turan was sent off for a second yellow card following a rash challenge on Madrid's Sergio Ramos in the 76th minute.

As in the first leg of the derby between last season's finalists, Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak kept his team in the tie by saving a series of shots on goal by Madrid's forwards.

In the night's other match, Juventus drew 0-0 at Monaco to reach the semi-finals with a 1-0 victory on aggregate.

Arturo Vidal's penalty goal in the first leg of their quarter-final in Italy proved decisive.

First semi in a decade

The two-time European champions, stopped in the quarter-finals in 2013, 2006, 2005, will play in the semis for the first time since 2003, when Juventus were losing finalists, on penalties to AC Milan.

The semi-finals now offer the mouth-watering prospect of four top teams that have all won European football's premier club competition multiple times. Barcelona and Bayern Munich round out the last four.

Real's win took pressure off Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti, who had been criticised for his side's failure to beat Atletico in all seven of their previous meetings since last season's Champions League final in Portugal.

"I had wanted a match like this, searching out for offensive solutions without the need for haste, avoiding problems on the counterattack or from set pieces," Ancelotti said. "In this sense, the team worked well, it controlled the match."

It was a particularly welcome strike for Hern·ndez, who highlighted the work done by Ronaldo.

"Every goal I scored is huge for me. It was a great pass from Cristiano," said the striker, who dedicated the goal to his teammates "and all those who believed in me".