Contentious late penalty gets Real Madrid out of jail


Irrepressible forward Cristiano Ronaldo scored an injury-time penalty to send Real Madrid into the Champions League semi-finals – after Juventus had flirted with one of the greatest comebacks in the tournaments history.

Trailing 3-0 from the first leg in Turin, Juventus hinted at the extraordinary when they clawed two goals back against the defending champions before half-time, as hitman Mario Mandzukic headed the visitors into contention.

The aggregate scores were levelled on the hour mark when Blaise Matuidi pounced on a fumble from Real goalkeeper Keylor Navas, before English referee Michael Oliver took centre stage in the dying embers of the clash.

Oliver pointed to the spot after judging Juve defender Medhi Benatia to have fouled Lucas Vazquez as the half-time substitute attempted to convert Ronaldos imperious knockdown.

Visiting goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon received his first Champions League red card, in this, his 117th and final match in the competition, for dissent in the ensuing melee.

Once order had been restored, Ronaldo kept his composure to rifle the 97th-minute spot-kick beyond replacement stopper Wojciech Szczesny to send Real, Champions League winners in three out of the last four years, to the semi-finals.

Joining Real, Liverpool and Roma in the last four were Bayern Munich, who relied upon defensive grit to grind out a goalless draw with La Liga outfit Sevilla and progress 2-1 on aggregate.

The newly-crowned German champions, who had won their previous two home matches at Allianz Arena 6-0, came under the cosh as Joaquin Correa hit the crossbar with a header and Pablo Sarabia squandered a glorious chance for the visitors.

It was the first time in 22 home Champions League matches that Bayern had failed to score, while Sevillas misery was compounded in stoppage when Correa was sent off.

The four teams will learn their semi-final fate when the draw takes place in Nyon at noon tomorrow.

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