Alvaro Morata and a Carlos Tevez penalty saw Juventus beat Real Madrid 2-1 in the Champions League semi-final.
The second leg is at the Bernabeu next Wednesday and the Bianconeri can qualify even with a draw.
This was the Bianconeri’s first Champions League semi-final since 2003, when they eliminated Real Madrid 4-3 on aggregate. Paul Pogba and Kwadwo Asamoah were still sidelined, but Max Allegri surprisingly gave Stefano Sturaro his first Champions League start, moving Arturo Vidal to the trequartista role. Carlo Ancelotti’s trophy holders missed Luka Modric and Karim Benzema, but dropped Fabio Coentrao and started Gareth Bale despite recently recovering from a calf injury.
Vidal wasted a golden opportunity in the opening minute, hesitating to shoot and going down far too easily. Sturaro also fired an angled drive at Iker Casillas, while Leo Bonucci was booked within five minutes and Alvaro Morata’s lob did not surprise the goalkeeper.
Juve were attacking well and took a deserved lead, as Carlos Tevez’s shot went through Raphael Varane’s legs to force an impressive Casillas save, but only as far as Morata’s tap-in. It was a special moment for the player who left Real Madrid last summer and could still return in future, but he did not celebrate.
Gigi Buffon got down brilliantly to fingertip a Toni Kroos missile round the base of the near post, as it bounced right in front of him.
Sturaro redirected a Tevez strike on to the upright, but the ex-Genoa midfielder was offside. Ronaldo pulled an angled drive wide, as did Stephan Lichtsteiner in a position where he really should’ve crossed.
Real Madrid had a period of pressure and it paid off at the end of a long passing move. James Rodriguez lobbed a cross to the back stick, where Ronaldo was totally unmarked to nod in from a yard. It was his 76th goal, making him the all-time Champions League top scorer.
Claudio Marchisio drilled wide, but Real Madrid almost took the lead on 41 minutes. Isco crossed from the left for a James diving header on to the bar from close range, then Marcelo volleyed the rebound just over.
Real Madrid had a corner from which Marcelo’s shot was charged down, but it sparked a rapid counter that saw Tevez brought down by Dani Carvajal. Apache got back up to convert the penalty with power and put Juventus in front once again with his seventh Champions League goal of the season.
Ronaldo just failed to get on the end of a smart James flick and Andrea Barzagli replaced Sturaro, moving Juventus to a 3-5-2 system.
Carvajal avoided a booking for giving away the penalty, but did get a card on 75 minutes, so could easily have been sent off in Turin.
Another Varane error saw Fernando Llorente go round Casillas to pull back from the by-line, but the pass was intercepted for Vidal in front of an open goal.
In stoppages Pirlo’s free kick found Llorente, but the header into the ground was straight at Casillas from point-blank range.