Juve is now where it deserves to be.
~ Alvaro Morata
The kid from Madrid puts a dagger into the heart of his former club and sends Juventus back to the Champions League final. Real played well but wasted too many chances. The fans are blaming Gareth Bale, who had the best chances but couldn’t put them away. This year’s Real Madrid never quite seemed to have enough to beat the best teams. They were never fully fit and never quite ready. Watching a player from their Youth Academy end their dream of the 11th Champions League title was difficult for a club with such high expectations. Now, the manager who brought their team the long awaited 10th title may have to fall on his sword and leave the club.
Juventus on the other hand feel that they are a team of destiny. “It seemed like destiny, but it really did go the way we hoped,” said Gianluigi Buffon. The team played with a sense of destiny. It’s a group of veterans, also-rans, and rejects who were are not quite done winning. The starting 11 average age is
Buffon (37) ; Lichtsteiner (31), Bonucci (28), Chiellini (30), Evra (33); Pirlo (35); Marchisio (29), Pogba (22); Vidal (27); Tevez (31), Morata (22).
Average age is 30 years old, which is like 50 in soccer years. So the old men from the Old Lady take down the Galacticos.
We sent the message that we are here, we want this final and we’ll fight to the end in Madrid too.
Andrea Pirlo, 5 May 2015
Start taking them seriously. This is not a fluke. It’s not luck. It’s a well coached team with talented players who want to win.
Juventus just beat Real Madrid and will take a 2-1 lead to the Bernebeu. Juve’s manager, Massimiliano Allegri has overachieved this season in the Champions League. Domestically they dominated, but no one thought they’d make noise in Europe. He doesn’t see his team as an underdog playing with nothing to lose. He sees his team as a contender and he was right. It’s been hard to take Italian teams seriously in the Champions League because they haven’t made much noise (maybe we’ll be saying the same thing about English teams soon?), but Juventus are back and playing to win.
Real Madrid fans have to be a bit worried at this point about going out to Juventus. Real are the current title holders and a return trip to the final would be a major accomplishment considering the injuries and struggles that Real have had this year. Despite that, there are rumblings that Ancelotti will lose his job if he doesn’t get his team past Juventus. If that’s the case, expectations are too high at Real Madrid. The bare minimum seems to be win the league these days. Ancelotti can point to the Decima that he brought to Madrid and wonder why that’s not enough if they fail to beat Juventus.
The good news for Real is the away goal. That puts this tie on good terms as they simply need a single goal at home and a clean sheet to get to the Final.