Second half goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale gave Real Madrid a 2-2 draw with Juventus this evening.
Carlo Ancelotti handed Xabi Alonso his first European start of the season after recovering from groin surgery, whilst Bale, Karim Benzema and Ronaldo all kept their places up front. The Serie A side meanwhile, handed a starting berth to former Athletic Bilbao front man Fernando Llorente.
And it was the away side who got off to the brighter start, keeping possession and forcing the Bianconeri back with their cute ‘tiki-taka’. Antonio Conte’s men were getting themselves behind the ball though, and blocked off any sight Madrid had on goal.
As the home team attempted to get forward however, Los Blancos looked much happier – Ronaldo almost scoring from a counter-attack, only to see his effort go wide of the post.
Paul Pogba was causing the biggest threat to the capital club’s defence – virtually running the game from midfield, and almost forcing Pepe into an own goal when his cross bounced off the Portugal international.
And Juve almost opened the scoring again on 29 minutes, but Claudio Marchisio point-blank was saved miraculously by Iker Casillas.
The hosts were really coming into their own now, peppering Casillas with shots on goal –the Spain captain though, was more than equal to efforts from Pogba, Carlos Tevez and Pirlo.
And that pressure eventually paid on 41 minutes as Pogba was brought down by Raphael Varane inside the area, and Arturo Vidal stepped up to place home the penalty.
After the break, the Merengues were straight out of the blocks and punished a poor Martin Caceres back pass, as Ronaldo galloped through and finished neatly past Gianluigi Buffon.
The Liga team were really turning the screw now, and almost took the lead on the hour mark, only for Alonso’s rasping half-volley from the edge of the area to crash against the bar.
Casillas still had to be alert thought, and soon kept out Marchisio after the Italy international struck from close-range.
It was just a flash in the pan however, as Ronaldo laid in Bale on the edge of the area, and the world’s most expensive player smashed in a shot past Buffon for the lead.
It didn’t last long though, as Varane hesitated inside his own six-yard box, and was quickly punished by Llorente, who headed on target and past Casillas for an equaliser.
Juventus 2-2 Real Madrid
Scorers: Vidal pen 41 (J) Llorente 65 (J); Ronaldo 52 (RM), Bale 61 (RM)
Juventus: Buffon; Cáceres, Barzagli, Bonucci, Asamoah; Vidal, Pirlo, Pogba; Marchisio, Llorente (Giovinco 88), Tévez (Quagliarella 82)
Real Madrid: Casillas; Sergio Ramos, Varane, Pepe, Marcelo; Xabi Alonso (Illarramendi 71), Modric, Khedira; Cristiano Ronaldo, Bale (Di Maria 75), Benzema (Jese 81)