Ronaldo rescues Real again but Madrid's fear factor destroyed by Juve


There were a range of opinions splashed across the front pages of the Spanish and Italian newspapers on Thursday after Real Madrid's dramatic Champions League victory over Juventus. The referee's decision to award a penalty kick in favour of Real Madrid against Benatia's push on Lucas' back.

It was the first time Madrid was down 3-0 in the Champions League since losing 4-0 at Liverpool in the round of 16 in 2008-09.

The tongue-in-cheek inference is that Michael Oliver - the English referee who awarded the late penalty and send of Gigi Buffon - was not qualified to officiate the match.

But the Serie A leaders got off to a ideal start when Mario Mandzukic headed in from Sami Khedira's cross after just two minutes and Mandzukic got a second before half-time.

Unbelievably the Turin giants score a third to level the tie on the hour mark, as midfielder Blaise Matuidi capitalised on a awful error by home goalkeeper Keylor Navas to score from close-range.

"My pulse was racing but I stayed calm, I knew it was decisive", said Ronaldo.

Ultimately, Cristiano Ronaldo converted the penalty to send his team to the semifinals.

With Barcelona dramatically exiting the competition to AS Roma on Tuesday, after surrendering a three-goal advantage from the first leg, there was a real possibility Madrid would suffer the same fate.

This was reminiscent of Madrid's Dortmund defeat en route to the 2014 Champions League crown, when Carlo Ancelotti's side lost 2-0 in Germany after winning the first match 3-0 in Madrid.

Juventus looked to have staged a stunning revival at the Santiago Bernabeu to force extra time after Mario Mandzukic scored twice in the first half and Blaise Matuidi added a third on the hour mark after a goalkeeping clanger from Real's Keylor Navas. Not about the penalty because that's down to interpretation, for me it is and the referee gave it, but the stuff about the robbery.

"At halftime I told them things had to change and we couldn't continue like this".

"We can't change that, but I'll always defend my players".

"We started the game saying to each other that we had 0.000001 percent chance of qualifying but you never know in life, especially because we have a team with players with incredible characters who are capable of everything", he said.