Alvaro Morata returned again to haunt his former club as he struck a fatal blow to Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League defence by firing Juventus into the final with a 3-2 aggregate victory.
Juve went into Wednesday’s second leg of their semi-final at the Santiago Bernabeu holding a 2-1 advantage, but they were on the back foot throughout the first half in Madrid.
Cristiano Ronaldo gave Real an away-goal advantage from the penalty spot in the 23rd minute after Giorgio Chiellini had felled James Rodriguez in the area, and at that stage the home side looked good value for their lead on the night.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men continued to threaten at the beginning of the second period too, but it was Morata – who played in last year’s final for Real before being allowed to leave the club – who proved the difference.
Having also scored in the first leg, he found the net against the run of play shortly before the hour mark this time to stun a partisan crowd into silence.
Real pushed hard for the goal that would have forced the match into an additional 30 minutes and preserve their hopes of a mouthwatering El Clasico final, but Juve clung on to book their meeting with Barcelona in Berlin on June 6.
The Real team bus was welcomed to the stadium by the kind of throng usually reserved for a victory parade ahead of the match and Marcelo, roared on by an equally fervent crowd inside the Bernabeu, carved out the hosts’ first opportunity.