Zinedine Zidane’s defending Champions Real Madrid trashed Juventus 3-0. Zidane returned to his old stumping ground in Turin and armed with red-hot Cristiano Ronaldo and left with a well deserved victory.
Real Madrid started same team that defeated the Old Lady of Turin 4-1 in last season’s final, while Juve handed a surprise start to Uruguayan midfielder, Rolando Bentancur. Cristiano Ronaldo continued his scoring form to give Real Madrid an early lead. Quick feet from Isco freed the mercurial midfielder in the box and his cutback was met by the outside foot of Ronaldo for his 13th goal of the competition. Raphael Varane should have doubled the lead on 10 minutes but the French defender free header from a corner kick went wide.
Juve had the next real chance on 23 minutes but Keylor Navas made a great save at point blank range when Higuain diverted a free kick from deep towards goal.
Juventus were in control while Real waited with patient build up. Good work from Isco and Benzema set Kroos up from 25 yards to hit the bar. The Italian champions threatened the UCL defending Champions backline without breaching it as the half ended with Ronaldo’s goal separating the two sides.
The Portuguese captain almost repeated the trick early in the second half when good holdup play by Benzema in the area allowed him to hit a low shot which crept just inches wide of Buffon’s goal.
Dybala was causing real havoc for Madrid’s defence, winning free kicks in dangerous positions and one of such deflected off Ronaldo in the wall and flew just wide, wrong footing Navas.
Miscommunication at the back for Juve led to Los Merengues doubling the lead. Giorgio Chiellini diverted a harmless ball beyond Buffon and the veteran ‘keeper saved Vazquez’s shot well, but Carvajal’s cross from the loose ball led to Cristiano Ronaldo sending an overhead kick beyond an awe-struck buffon and the spectators roundly applauded the five-time and reigning Balon D’Or winner.
Dybala soon got his marching order following a high foot from the Argentine which earned him a second booking. Bad turned to worse for Juventus as the third goal followed, Ronaldo turning provider as marauding wing back Marcelo was found beyond the Juve’s defence, the Brazilian lifting the ball beyond Buffon and ensured Real’s third goal.
There was still time for Madrid to add more gloss to the scoreline, but Mateo Kovacic hit the bar while Buffon saved from Ronaldo and Asensio to all but seal Madrid’s qualification into the semi finals.
In Spain, Sevilla gave Bayern Munich a real scare but were defeated 2-1 at the Ramon Sanchez Pizuan by the experienced Germans.
Forward Pablo Sarabia missed a gaping goal to put the Andalusians ahead but made amends on 32 minutes. Sergio Escudero’s deep cross was allowed to run through to the Spaniard who finished with aplomb. Sevilla were impressively pinning the German champions to their half and countering with good effect but their final ball was sadly lacking. Their profligacy in front of goal haunted them as they gifted Bayern an unlikely equalizer. James Rodriguez found Frank Ribery just inside the box his weak low cross was mistakenly diverted into the net by Jesus Navas despite goalkeeper David Soria’s best effort.
Another own goal was Sevilla’s undoing in the second half as Bayern turned on the screws. Escudero diverted in at the near post from another low cross in the six-yard box. Jupp Heynckes’ men saw out the 2-1 victory and would look to finish the Europa Cup Specialists off at the Allianz Arena next week.
JUVENTUS 0-3 REAL MADRID
SEVILLA 1-2 BAYERN MUNICH