Juventus vs. Real Madrid: Final score 2-2 in a back-and-forth thriller

Claudio Villa

A draw isn't a great result for Juventus, but it's good enough to keep them in the running for a Champions League knockout stage spot.

Real Madrid have solidified their hold on first place on UEFA Champions League Group B, earning a credible draw away to Juventus. While a draw isn't a great result for the hosts, they're still in with a solid chance of going through to the next round.

The first half featured Juventus controlling the game, mostly limiting Real Madrid to counters. The visitors didn't give the ball away cheaply and generated a few decent half-chances, but they looked their most dangerous when breaking quickly and didn't have many opportunities to set up in the Juventus half.

Iker Casillas was forced into a couple of saves in the first 30 minutes. His first came in the 17th minute, and prevented an own goal when a cross deflected off Pepe, forcing him into a tough stop. The save he made in the 28th minute was even better. Carlos Tevez set up Claudio Marchisio for a header with a great cross, but Marchisio was denied by a Casillas kick save.

Madrid seemed to grow frustrated with Juve's control of the match as the half wore on. Luka Modric picked up a yellow card for a rash tackle on Paul Pogba in the 35th minute and he'll be suspended for Madrid's next Champions League match. Six minutes later, Pogba drew another big foul, this time leading to Juve's opening goal.

Raphael Varane appeared to make a clean tackle on Pogba in the penalty area, but caught the Juventus midfielder with his trailing leg and Howard Webb pointed to the penalty spot. Arturo Vidal stepped up and blasted a shot into the top corner, sending the bianconeri into halftime with a deserved lead.

Things looked to be going according to plan for Juventus in the opening minutes of the second half until a terrible giveaway by Martin Caceres led to Real Madrid's first goal. He hit what should have been a simple backpass off a Madrid player, turning it into a perfect through ball for Cristiano Ronaldo, who made the most of the chance and beat Gianluigi Buffon one-on-one.

The ensuing 15 minutes were end-to-end, with both teams scoring another goal and creating chances to score many more. Xabi Alonso hit the crossbar in the 56th minute with a brilliant drive, which was quickly followed up by a pair of Juventus chances that saw Casillas make a stop off a short-range effort by Marchisio and Pepe clear Pogba's follow-up off the line.

Madrid went ahead in the 60th minute through the duo they hope will develop some serious chemistry and lead them to titles in the near future, Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. After Ronaldo latched onto a ball over the top of midfield from Marcelo, he squared for Bale, who created enough space between two Juventus defenders to shoot and placed a perfect finish past Buffon.

It looked like the game might have turned for good at that point, but Fernando Llorente came up with a stunning answer in the 65th minute. Caceres redeemed himself a bit with a very accurate cross towards the head of Llorente, who leaned forward to get on the end of the ball and nod in the equalizer.

Benzema and Tevez each had a solid chance for their side in the closing minutes, but a fifth goal never came. Juventus won't be thrilled with only taking a point at home, but they've kept themselves in a decent position to clinch a knockout stage place by coming back to avoid a loss.

Juventus: Buffon, Asamoah, Bonucci, Barzagli, Caceres, Pirlo, Pogba, Vidal, Marchisio, Tevez (Quagliarella 82'), Llorente (Giovinco 88')

Goals: (Vidal penalty 42'), Llorente (65')

Real Madrid: Casillas, Marcelo, Varane, Pepe, Ramos, Modric, Alonso (Illaramendi 71'), Khedira, Ronaldo, Benzema (Jese 81'), Bale (Di Maria 75')

Goals: Ronaldo (52'), Bale (60')

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