Juventus protests as late penalty saves Real Madrid’s blushes
Juventus’ French midfielder Blaise Matuidi (L) protests to referee during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg football match between Real Madrid CF and Juventus FC at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on April 11, 2018. CURTO DE LA TORRE / AFP
Juventus was left seething at the end of an enthralling UEFA Champions League quarterfinal second leg game against Real Madrid following English referee, Michael Oliver’s decision to award the home team a late penalty yesterday. The spot kick scored by Ronaldo effectively ended Juventus’ designs on the trophy and perhaps, Skipper Gianluigi Buffon’s career in Europe’s biggest club championship.
Juventus was the less favoured for victory in the match following its 0-3 defeat by Real Madrid in the first leg at home, but the Italians showed that it is never over until the final whistle. They took the fight to the defending champions and got the first goal of the game in the second minute through Mario Mandzukic. The Croatian made it 2-0 in the 37th, while Blaise Matuidi erased Real Madrid’s advantage in the 61st minute to set Juventus up for the biggest upset of this year’s competition.
But Michael Oliver completely changed the balance of power at the dot of the 90th minute when he awarded a spot kick to Madrid ostensibly for a Mehdi Benatia’s foul charge on Lucas Vazquez.. To add salt to injury, he sent off Buffon for protesting his decision violently.
Given the opportunity to lift Real Madrid, Ronaldo was never going to miss, and he tucked the ball beyond substitute goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczesny to end the game 1-3 in the night and 4-3 advantage to Real Madrid.
In the other game in Munich, Bayern Munich was held to a goalless draw by Sevilla, but the Germans went through on the 2-1 advantage they scored in the first leg.