Ex-Real Madrid player Álvaro Morata struck the killer punch to his former club as Juventus rescued a 1-1 draw in Spain to progress to the UEFA Champions League final.
The Bianconeri will face Barcelona in Berlin on 6 June in the 2014-15 Champions League final after eliminating defending champions Real Madrid 2-3 on aggregate scores.
Cristiano Ronaldo converted from the penalty spot for Real in the 23rd minute, but Morata restored parity on 57 minutes from inside the area to end the Los Merengues’ ambition of becoming the first team since 1990 to retain Europe’s elite crown.
Real were denied by Juve’s resolute defending in the closing stages, as the Italian champions ensured there was not going to be a late drama in the Spanish capital.
Coach Carlo Ancelotti’s men trailed 2-1 from the first leg in Turin and needed to dominate their opponents in front of home crowd. With a final showdown ticket up for grabs, tension was at its highest level before kickoff as Spanish security forces near the Bernebeu area were kept on high alert, even having to break up incidents between rival fans.
Real, who retreated into their shells in last week’s away leg, siezed initiative early on with Gareth Bale missing a header by just a glimmer in the opening seconds.
Karim Benzema- on his return to the side after sitting out for a month with knee injury, blazed over before Ronaldo’s deflected free-kick nested on the top of the net.
Arturo Vidal quickly called Iker Casillas into action, the Chilean midfielder forcing the home goalkeeper into a diving save.
Vidal’s effort served just as an interlude as Real regained control again. The Italians then managed to scramble to safety a Benzema shot before Gigi Buffon kept out Bale’s pile-driver from 25 yards.
The Serie A champions eventually gave in to pressure as Giorgio Chiellini was adjudged to have fouled James Rodriguez in the area. Ronaldo kept his cool to clip the ball over the diving Buffon and draw level with Lionel Messi on the top scorers’ chart with ten goals.
Buffon twice denied Benzema goal-scoring chances before the break to help keep hopes alive for Massimiliano Alegri’s side.
Juve returned after the interval searching for that priceless away goals at all cost with Claudio Marchisio sending his shot wide.
The turning point came for the two-time winners when Casillas failed to clear Andrea Pirlo free-kick and Paul Pogba knocked the ball down for Morata, who smashed past the veteran Spanish goalkeeper.
The hosts needed to score two more goals to stave off elimination, but bale was again guilty of throwing caution to the winds as Juve retained a compact defense despite some solid interplay between Marcelo and James.
Casillas was called to the rescue when Marchisio slipped Vidal through on goal.
Bale rose to meet Ronaldo’s cross at the far post, but despite several attempts; just couldn’t get his arc right.
Returnee Pogba could have added salt to Real’s injury two minutes from time, but the Frenchman’s effort was palmed away by Casillas whose 150th Champions League appearance ended in disappointments on the night.