UEFA CL: Last minute Ronaldo penalty saves the day for Real

EPA-EFE/RODRIGO JIMENEZ

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Italian champions Juventus almost emulated Roma’s sensational comeback against FC Barcelona, only to see their dream of reaching the UEFA Champions League semifinals falling to pieces as Ronaldo scored a last-gasp penalty to send the hosts through. 

Real Madrid entered the game at the Santiago Bernabeu knowing that all they need to do is to protect a three-goal lead from the first match in Turin.

EPA-EFE/JUANJO MARTIN

But Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic scored twice before the interval, and Blaise Matuidi capitalized on goalkeeper Keylor Navas’ fumble in the 61st minute to level the tie at three goals apiece.

EPA-EFE/RODRIGO JIMENEZ

Instead of going for the fourth goal, which would virtually secure them a place in the semifinals, Massimiliano Allegri’s side opted to wait for the extra time, and their decision backfired when Medhi Benatia fouled Lucas Vazquez in the box seconds before the end of regulation.

EPA-EFE/KIKO HUESCA

With Gianluigi Buffon sent off for his reaction to English referee Michael Oliver’s decision, substitute Juventus keeper Wojciech Szczesny was unable to stop Ronaldo from scoring from the spot and sending Real to the last four.

Elsewhere on Wednesday evening, Sevilla held Bayern to a goalless draw in Munich, but 2-1 victory from the first leg was enough for the Bavarians to join Liverpool, Roma and Real in the semifinals.

EPA-EFE/LUKAS BARTH

UEFA Champions league semifinal draw will take place in Nyon, on Friday, April 13 at 13:00 CET.