Tevez's PK gives Juve upper hand in CL semis
Turin, Italy (SportsNetwork.com) - Carlos Tevez buried a second-half penalty kick to lift Juventus to a 2-1 first-leg victory over Real Madrid in their Champions League semifinal tie on Tuesday at Juventus Stadium.
Juventus enters the semifinal stage with a wave of momentum following a 1-0 win over Sampdoria over the weekend which gave the Old Lady its fourth consecutive league title. Juve also came into Tuesday's first leg with a bit of history on its side having not lost in its last 12 home European matches.
After sneaking past local rivals Atletico Madrid in the quarterfinals and Sevilla, 3-2, in league play over the weekend, Los Blancos aimed to get off to a good start in their quest to reach the Champions League final for the second consecutive season.
Both clubs, however, were missing key players as Real was without midfielder Luka Modric, while Juventus played without star playmaker Paul Pogba as well as defender Martin Caceres.
Despite missing a pair of impact players, Juventus found the opening salvo after nine minutes when Tevez uncorked a dipping strike on goal from the right side of the box. Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas made the stop, but left the rebound and former Real man Alvaro Morata was in the right place at the right time to knock it home.
Real Madrid pulled level in the 27th minute as James Rodriguez did well to beat his mark before lofting the ball across the face of goal to the back post, where Cristiano Ronaldo nodded it home from close range as the sides went into the break on even terms.
The deciding moment came in the 58th minute when Tevez got free in behind the Real defense and was tripped in the penalty area by defender Daniel Carvajal.
Referee Martin Atkinson wasted no time in pointing to the spot, awarding a penalty kick to Juventus.
Tevez stepped up and blasted it with pace down the middle past Casillas for his 50th goal in a Juventus kit.
Real Madrid sent numbers forward hoping for an equalizer over the final 30- plus minutes, but the Juventus defense held out to grab the upper hand.
The sides will meet again for the second leg of the tie next Wednesday at the Bernabeu.