Tag Archives: Juventus

“I am Gigi Buffon.” — Juve keeper stands by Michael Oliver comments

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Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon says that he stands by the comments he made about referee Michael Oliver after their dramatic Champions League quarter-final exit to Real Madrid.

The 40-year old was sent off for dissent after Oliver awarded Real an injury-time penalty, and later said the official had “a trash can for a heart” after Juve had come back from losing 3-0 at home to lead 3-0 at the Bernabeu in the second leg of the last-eight tie on Wednesday.

However, Oliver awarded the Spanish side a 93rd-minute penalty for Mehdi Benatia’s foul on Lucas Vazquez, which Cristiano Ronaldo scored to send Real through 4-3 on aggregate.

Buffon said after the game that it was a “dubious incident” and, speaking again on Saturday, he said he had been defending “my teammates and fans, even in a not very composed fashion”.

“The content remains and I stand by all of it,” the keeper said. “I’d say them all again – maybe with a different type of language.”

“You find a way to speak, right or wrong, that at times can seem excessive – but this is me, I am Gigi Buffon.”

He added that he still believed 33-year-old Oliver lacked experience.

“I’m sure Oliver will have a great career in future, but he’s too young to officiate a match like that. A referee with more experience would not have blown his whistle and decided not to become the protagonist of the match. He would have left it running, turned around and let the two teams fight it out in extra time. Let the pitch do the talking.”

Police are currently investigating threatening text messages sent to Oliver’s wife, Lucy, after she was abused on fans on social media.

Last minute Ronaldo penalty sends Real Madrid to semi-finals

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s last-minute penalty sends defending Real Madrid through to the Champions League semi-finals after his vital goal held off a stunning Juventus comeback (3-1, 4-3 on aggregate).

The Portuguese’s coolly taken 97th-minute spot-kick into the top corner came after Medhi Benatia brought down Lucas Vazquez in the box, meaning that he has now scored 10 Champions League goals against Juventus — the most by one player against a one opponent in the competition.

Juventus captain and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, in what might be his last Champions League appearance, was sent off for dissent by referee Michael Oliver after the spot-kick.

His first Champions League red card was also Juventus’ sixth in the competition against Real Madrid — more than any team has had against another opponent in the competition.

It was possibly the veteran’s last game in Europe, which drew comparisons with Real boss Zinedine Zidane when his France playing career ended with a sending off at the 2006 World Cup final for a headbutt on Italy defender Marco Materazzi.

Real, Champions League winners in three of the past four seasons, came into the second leg leading 3-0, helped by Ronaldo’s stunning bicycle kick.

However, Serie A leaders got off to a perfect start when Mario Mandzukic headed in from Sami Khedira’s cross after just seventy-six seconds and did it again eight-minutes before half-time.

Already one-goal away from equalling Real’s lead, Blaise Matuidi pounced to capitalise on Keylor Navas’ fumble to level the tie on aggregate before the dramatic ending.

Real Madrid will now join Liverpool, Roma and Bayern Munich in the last-four draw, which takes place in Nyon on Friday.

Zinedine Zidane: “I’m not interested in being favourites”

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Real boss Zinedine Zidane has played down suggestions that his side are favourites to win Europe’s most prestigious club competition again as they host Juventus.

Only a spectacular collapse will deny Real another semi-final appearance following their Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired victory in Italy, where the Portuguese captain scored two goals including an incredible bicycle kick in the first leg.

Twelve-time winners Real are therefore looking to win the competition for the fourth time in five seasons, but Zidane insisted that they could do that without being branded as favourites.

“I’m not interested in talk of favourites, I prefer to show it out on the pitch and we must respect all clubs and all aspects of football,” the former World Cup winner added.

“If we put in a great performance and we are focused throughout the match we have a good chance of battling through, but we must keep that idea in mind.”

Los Blancos will play without suspended captain Sergio Ramos when they host Juventus in the Champions League quarter-final second leg, and defender Jesus Vallejo, 21, could start alongside Raphael Varane for Real.

As for the defending Serie A Champions, they will play without key forward Paulo Dybala, who was sent off in the first leg for two yellow cards, but defender Giorgio Chiellini says that they would put on an improved performance in Spain after their first-leg disappointment.

“We’re not crying about what happened, and we go to Madrid with the desire to play a good game,” Chiellini added. “We’ll treat it like a marathon, not a sprint and we’ll need to go into the game with a level head.”

Prediction:

Real Madrid 0 : 0 Juventus

Ronaldo scores incredible bicycle kick as Real Madrid routs Juventus

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Cristiano Ronaldo scored one of the Champions League’s great goals as his incredible bicycle kick helped Real Madrid demolish Juventus by 3-0 in the their first leg encounter in the quarter-final.

The Real Madrid striker already made history with the first of his two goals, prodding home Isco’s cross to become the first player to score in 10 consecutive Champions League games just 3 minutes after the game began.

However, both sides then fought on equal terms despite Real’s lead, with their own captain Sergio Ramos delivering a vital block against Paulo Dybala and Toni Kroos going close to doubling Real’s lead when he hit the crossbar with a 25-yard effort.

Ronaldo’s stunner — one of the great Champions League moments — came after the break, when Dani Carvajal lifted a cross to the Portuguese, who soared in the air and sent a flying acrobatic kick past Gianluigi Buffon, who was left with no chance.

This also meant that the Portuguese captain has now scored nine Champions League goals against Juventus — no player has scored more against a single opponent in the competition (he also has nine against Bayern Munich while Barcelona’s Lionel Messi has nine against Arsenal).

The entire Juventus Stadium were so in awe of the brilliance of the strike such that even the home fans stood up to applaud the goal that probably ended their hopes of going through as they fell behind such an impervious away goal disadvantage.

But things got even worse for the Turin side — who lost last year’s final to Real — as Dybala was shown a second yellow card for a high boot in the chest of Carvajal.

Real Madrid essentially their place in the last four when Marcelo played a one-two with Ronaldo before scoring from close range.

As the second leg looks to be little more than a formality now, Los Blancos would have a challenging game against neighbouring rivals Atletico Madrid in a Sunday derby in La Liga — while Juventus plays Serie A’s bottom team Benevento on Saturday.