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Ronaldo Scores 54th Real Madrid Goal Of Season

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JUVENTUS will travel to Real Madrid with a one-goal lead in their Champions League semi-final second leg after grinding out a deserved home victory.

Juve went ahead when Alvaro Morata slotted in against his old club after Carlos Tevez’s effort was spilled.

Real levelled when Cristiano Ronaldo nodded in James Rodriguez’s cross.

But the holders looked out of sorts and slipped behind again as Dani Carvajal tripped Tevez after the break and the Argentine dispatched the spot-kick.

Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri signalled he was content with the scoreline as he brought on central defender Andrea Bazagli just after the hour and his side shut down the contest, limiting Real to a clutch of half chances.

Whether Juve’s advantage is enough to survive the return leg at the Bernabeu is yet to be seen, but it was a result to relish for the noisy home support as captain Gianluigi Buffon led the celebrations at the final whistle.

Juventus made 27 passes in the build-up to Alvaro Morata’s goal – a record in the Champions League this season.

Real’s goal took Cristiano Ronaldo back ahead of Lionel Messi in the all-time Champions League top-scorer charts. The Portuguese has 76 goals in the tournament to Messi’s 75.

Juventus have lost just once in 18 European matches at the redeveloped Juventus Stadium, but this victory, days after they clinched their fourth successive Serie A title, marks the headiest days since they left the Stadio delle Alpi.

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti – whose position is subject to the usual end-of-season speculation in the Spanish capital – will know that his side will need to be better in both attack and defence to get through to the final.

Real looked powerless to resist Juve’s early momentum and were picked apart even before falling behind.

Arturo Vidal had found a large gap in the visitors’ rearguard in the opening minutes, but failed to get a shot off, before Tevez repeated the trick, but not the mistake.

Having shaken off marker Raphael Varane, the Argentina striker shot hard and low across Iker Casillas and the Real goalkeeper could only paw the ball into the path of Morata to finish from a couple of yards.

Even if they were collectively out of sorts though, Real’s star-studded line-up always carries danger.

That threat was realised as Colombia international Rodriguez ghosted free of Patrice Evra and lifted a precise cross onto the head of Ronaldo as the Juve back four appealed in vain for an offside flag.

Rodriguez then headed against the bar from close range when he should have done better, but Juve’s cohesion and determination wrestled back the initiative after the break.

Tevez coolly converted from 12 yards to put them back in front and his side could have been further clear had substitute Fernando Llorente showed more composure over two late chances. – BBC Sport

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