A first half brace from Cristiano Ronaldo was enough to give Real Madrid a 2-1 win at home to Juventus this evening.
Gareth Bale was missing from the starting XI as he continued his return from injury. Angel Di Maria, Ronaldo and Karim Benzema played in the front three, with Iker Casillas coming in to replace Diego Lopez between the posts.
And the Blancos captain was called into action inside the first two minutes as Claudio Marchisio struck a sweet effort from range, but the goalkeeper was equal to it.
It wasn’t long however, before Carlo Ancelotti’s men took the lead. Di Maria slid a ball through to Ronaldo inside the area, and the Portugal international coolly rounded Gianluigi Buffon and scored.
Despite that great start, the home team were not having things all their own way. The Bianconeri were the ones with the majority of possession early on, and went close through Carlos Tevez and a dangerous cross from Paul Pogba.
And midway through the half, it was the young France international who headed back a Martin Caceres cross at the far post to Llorente, who tapped in for an easy equaliser.
Almost immediately though, the Merengues got themselves back in front from the spot. Giorgio Chiellini pulled down Sergio Ramos inside the area, and Ronaldo smashed home the resulting penalty from 12 yards.
Juve were now going for another equaliser, with Andrea Pirlo going close from a tight angle. But Madrid were hitting the Old Lady on the break, and almost extended their lead, only for Ronaldo to strike wide from the edge of the area.
After the break, the Italian side were instantly dealt a killer blow as Chiellini was handed a straight rad card for what the referee deemed an elbow to Ronaldo’s face.
It was a genuinely game-changing moment as the Blancos were now in full control of possession with their man advantage. Marcelo and Alvaro Arbeloa were creating spaces out wide, and it was the former Liverpool man who teed up Benzema, only for the France international to miss from all of two yards.
Bale came on with 20 minutes to go, but couldn’t make the difference as the Serie A side put men behind the ball and shut Madrid out well.
Real Madrid 2-1 Juventus
Scorers: Ronaldo 5, 28 pen (RM); Llorente 22 (J)
Real Madrid: Casillas, Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo, Khedira, Illarramendi (Isco 72), Modric, Di María (Morata 79), Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema (Bale 67)
Juventus: Buffon, Caceres, Barzagli, Chiellini, Ogbonna (Giovinco 69), Vidal, Pirlo (Asamoah 59), Pogba, Marchisio, Tevez, Llorente (Bonucci 50)
Red card: Chiellini 49 (J)