Two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo gave Real Madrid a 2-1 win at home to Juventus to virtually assure their place in the next round of the Champions League.
All of the goals came in the first half. Ronaldo took advantage of good work from Angel di Maria to open the scoring and then scored a penalty after Fernando Llorente had equalising for the visitors, Xinhua reported.
Madrid had some good moments and others when they were not so convincing and were helped by the fact that Juventus played for almost all the second half with 10 men after Giorgio Chiellini was sent off.
The game between the two sides who appear destined to finish in the first two places of the group got off to a flying start when Ronaldo took advantage off great work by Angel Di Maria to take the ball round Gianluigi Buffon and slot the ball into the Juventus net.
The goal was a shock to the visitors, but the Italian side recovered quickly and probably enjoyed the best of the first 45 minutes, although the result was not to reflect that.
Prior to the game, Fernando Llorente had commented that Real Madrid had tried to sign him on a couple of occasions when he was at Athletic Club Bilbao and the striker showed why when he leveled the score after 22 minutes.
The move was started by Pirlo, continued by Paul Pogba and although Iker Casillas was able to save the Frenchman’s effort, Llorente was on hand to score from almost on the floor.
The tie was not to last long, however, as the referee gave Real Madrid a penalty after 28 minutes for some manhandling in the Juventus area following a corner kick. Ronaldo continued his effectiveness from 12 yards to again put his side in front.
Both Carlos Tevez and Andrea Pirlo went close to equalising as Juventus appeared to get the better of Madrid in midfield, but with Di Maria again in good form for Madrid, the home side continued to be a threat in attack.
Juventus could have felt optimistic at half time despite the adverse result the game turned against them just two minutes after the break.
Chiellini was shown a red card after appearing to catch Ronaldo in the face as the pair tussled for the ball. It looked harsh, but given Chellini already had a yellow card after committing the penalty, perhaps it wasn’t totally unfair.
Against 10 men Karim Benzema missed an easy chance in front of an open goal, while Sami Khedria should have scored when faced only by Buffon, but the visitors refused to lie down and accept defeat, although they were forced to play increasingly from the back as the game progressed.