Juventus take a narrow first-leg lead over Uefa Champions League holders Real Madrid into next week’s reverse after a slim 2-1 win in Turin on Tuesday night.
Carlos Tevez’s 50th goal for Juventus scored from the penalty spot made the difference, but it is far from over for the two-time champions with a return leg at the Estadio Santiago Bernebeu on the card.
Cristiano Ronaldo headed the Los Merengues level from a James Rodriguez cross after Alvaro Morata had poked home from close range against his former club.
Juve, playing in their first semi-final since 2003, got off to a dream start and were on the front foot before the opening ten minutes on the back of a Stefao Sturaro shot straight at Iker Casillas and Morata’s beautiful lob which was too slow to beat the out-of-position veteran shot-stopper.
Claudio Marchisio laid the ball for Tevez down the right side of the box and the Argentinean’s low shot was only parried back into play by Casillas, allowing Morata to score from close range.
Madrid immediately regrouped and got on with the going. Toni Kroos could have grabbed an equaliser had his 25-yard shot bounced well over Gigi Buffon.
Isco’s long ball forward then found Ronaldo who could have done better than to just try a speculative effort across the face of goal.
Stephan Lichsteiner was next to provide a bit of sensation for the fans as the Swiss evaded Marcelo down the right and closed in on target, but ended up making a rash of the ball, lashing his shot into the side-netting.
Madrid equalised two minutes after that miss with a priceless away goal. James smuggled in between Arturo Vidal and Leo Bonucci inside the penalty area and lifted a volleyed cross over to the far post for Ronaldo to head home his ninth goal in semi-finals of the elite competition- his 76th career Champions League goal.
Real could have grabbed a second before the break had James managed to keep his glancing header off the cross bar following a neat counter-attack involving the Colombian, Kroos and Marcelo.
The Old Lady were back on top within the opening quarter of the second half as Dani Carvajal brought down Tevez in the goal area. The ex-Manchester United striker confidently took to the spot to slam the ball down the middle.
Substitute Fernando Llorente almost put the game to bed in the closing minutes but lacked initiative to try from a tight angle having rounded Casillas after a poor defending by Raphael Varane.
The Spaniard also came close to securing Juventus’ ticket to Berlin but just couldn’t get his head onto a brilliant free-kick by Andrea Pirlo into the penalty area.