Juventus striker Carlos Tevez smashed home a second-half penalty as the hosts stunned holders Real Madrid with a 2-1 win in an absorbing Champions League semi-final, first leg on Tuesday.
The irrepressible Argentine, playing some of the best football of his career, won the spot kick just before the hour when he was upended by Dani Carvajal following a breakaway and tucked it away in a pulsating, wide open game.
Juve’s Alvaro Morata had opened the scored against his old club in the ninth minute in front of a boisterous home crowd but Cristiano Ronaldo headed the equaliser for Real in the 27th.
“We need to give an exceptional performance in Madrid to get to the final. Small episodes can change the result in the Champions League and you also need a bit of luck,” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri told a post-match news conference.
The game could have turned out very differently for Real but forward James Rodriguez wasted a glorious chance when he headed against the bar from point-blank range before the break.
“We did well in parts, we played some good football, with patience, and we have had some good chances…” said Real manager Carlo Ancelotti. “We set out to win this game, the result is not good but it is not bad either.”
Ronaldo’s goal meant the Portuguese regained the lead from Lionel Messi as the Champions League’s all-time leading scorer with 76 goals, although the Argentine is in action for Barcelona against Bayern Munich in the second semi-final on Wednesday.
Ronaldo had already wasted one free kick, which he drilled into the wall, when Juve, who wrapped up their fourth straight Italian title on Saturday, took the lead with a simple goal.
Claudio Marchisio threaded the ball to Tevez whose shot towards the far corner was saved by Iker Casillas but went straight to Morata who tapped home but did not celebrate.
Real briefly wobbled before regaining their composure and equalised when Rodriguez cleverly flicked a bouncing ball over a defender for Ronaldo to head home at the far post.
A delightful Real passing move then ended with Isco getting free on the left to leave Rodriguez with an easy header which the Colombian inexplicably crashed against the bar.
Real seemed poised to take control of the match but fell behind again after an attack broke down.
The ball was cleared to Morata who sent Tevez charging away and the Argentine’s run ended in the Real penalty area where he was bundled over by Carvajal. Tevez got up to beat Casillas from the spot with a shot straight down the middle.
“We expect a much more difficult game than today in the second leg,” said Juve midfielder Arturo Vidal, whose team are in next month’s Italian Cup final with Lazio. “It’s everyone’s dream to win the treble and we are close to doing it.”