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Ronaldo double sinks ten-man Juventus

Published: Wednesday 23 October 2013, 22.45CET
Real Madrid CF 2-1 Juventus
Cristiano Ronaldo took his tally to seven goals with two more at the Santiago Bernabéu as Madrid moved five points clear in Group B.
by Paul Bryan
from Santiago Bernabéu

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Published: Wednesday 23 October 2013, 22.45CET

Ronaldo double sinks ten-man Juventus

Real Madrid CF 2-1 Juventus
Cristiano Ronaldo took his tally to seven goals with two more at the Santiago Bernabéu as Madrid moved five points clear in Group B.

Real Madrid CF opened up a commanding lead in UEFA Champions League Group B after ten-man Juventus became the latest side in the section to fall to the nine-time European champions.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored five goals as the Merengues convincingly disposed of Galatasaray AŞ and FC København in their previous games, and he got two more against the Italian champions who had Giorgio Chiellini dismissed early in the second half. Ronaldo expertly slid in a quick opener before converting the 29th-minute penalty that ultimately proved decisive after Fernando Llorente had equalised. The win took Carlo Ancelotti's men five points clear in the standings. 

Juventus had enjoyed a memorable 2-0 victory on their last visit to the Santiago Bernabéu in 2008 and started this encounter just as confidently with Claudio Marchisio's drive from distance – and Iker Casillas's flying save – setting the tone for a spectacular first half. Just four minutes in, Madrid took the lead, inevitably through Ronaldo; the Portuguese latched onto Ángel Di María's perfect through pass before rounding Gianluigi Buffon and finding the net from a narrow angle.

Ronaldo had warned of the threat posed by his former Manchester United FC team-mate Carlos Tévez and those fears proved well-founded with the Argentinian twice flashing efforts narrowly off target. Still the visitors came, and they were level on 22 minutes when Casillas could only claw Paul Pogba's far-post header out to Llorente; the ex-Athletic Club striker notched his sixth career goal against Madrid.

The celebrations proved short-lived, however, as Madrid were back in front shortly afterwards. Ronaldo fired a penalty high to Buffon's right after Chiellini had pulled down Sergio Ramos.

The Italy defender was then involved in another pivotal moment three minutes after half-time when a challenge on Ronaldo resulted in his dismissal. With Juve dropping further back, their deficit might have increased as Di María's lobbed pass found Álvaro Arbeloa advancing down the right, but his low cross was somehow turned over by Karim Benzema with the goal beckoning.

With two points from their first two fixtures, Antonio Conte's side needed to summon a greater attacking threat despite the numerical disadvantage. Sebastian Giovinco was brought on to provide it and stole forward to send in a shot that was tipped around the post by the sprawling Casillas. Yet while Sami Khedira's lifted effort failed to trouble Buffon at the other end, the hosts had done enough and may look to wrap up qualification when the teams meet again on matchday four.

Last updated: 03/12/13 20.14CET

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