23 Apr 2015

Real, Juventus make UCL semis after tight wins

4:41 pm on 23 April 2015

The Champions League final four has been set and it's a case of familiar foes with Real Madrid and Juventus advancing to join Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

The Real Madrid footballer Cristiano Ronaldo became the first athlete to have 100 million Facebook followers.

The Real Madrid footballer Cristiano Ronaldo became the first athlete to have 100 million Facebook followers. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Real's lack of an away goal in their quarter-final first leg against cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid seemed to put them at a disadvantage.

But striker Javier Hernandez, on loan from English Premier League side Manchester United, popped up with three minutes left to score and give the Spanish club a 1-0 aggregate win.

Meanwhile, in France, Monaco couldn't find the goal they needed to overturn Italian club Juventus' 1-0 first leg win in Turin as the second meeting finished 0-0.

The hosts, who eliminated Arsenal in the previous round, dominated possession and Geoffrey Kondogbia was a big influence in midfield but Leonardo Jardim's side lacked the guile to penetrate Juve's massed defensive ranks.

It was a case of youth versus experience as Juventus's Andrea Pirlo and Patrice Evra had 30 more Champions League appearances than the whole home side's starting team.

Juventus woke up a little as the game wore on and nearly found a way through when Pirlo's pass almost found Stephan Lichtsteiner on the edge of the box before Danijel Subasic snatched the chance away from him.

Juventus looked increasingly fragile on the left side of their defence and Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal was lucky not to concede a penalty when he appeared to bring Kondogbia down in the box, but referee William Collum waved play on.

In Spain, a tense return at the Bernabeu appeared to be heading for extra time until James Rodriguez slipped a pass through to Cristiano Ronaldo in the 88th minute.

The Portugal forward unselfishly squared for Hernandez and the Mexican striker stroked the ball past Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak to secure a 1-0 aggregate victory, Real's first win over Atletico in eight matches this season.

It was a bitter blow for Atletico, who went toe to toe with the team that beat them in last year's final until their Turkey playmaker Arda Turan was dismissed for a second booking 14 minutes from time and Hernandez applied the killer blow.

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