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UEFA Champions League

Statistical breakdown of UCL semis

Five Aside
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Juve's win over Real Madrid blueprint to break up Europe's ruling class

Carlos Tevez's second-half penalty proved to be the decisive goal, as Juventus secured a 2-1 win over Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals.
Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri was pleased with his side's 2-1 UEFA Champions League win against Real Madrid, but warned they still needed to produce a top class performance to reach the final.

We've heard the warnings for years. How football has become all about the one-percenters. The combination of financial fair play, the Bosman ruling and a boom in commercial and stadium revenue that has disproportionately flowed to the big boys have created a lop-sided landscape.

The ultra-rich get richer. The rich struggle to keep up. The middle class gets hammered. And the poor? Well, they become invisible.

It's hard to deny this. The Deloitte Money League list is imperfect, but it illustrates...

History means nothing in the Barcelona vs. Bayern Munich duel

The ESPN FC team discuss Robert Lewandowski's mask he will be featuring in Bayern Munich's clash with Barcelona, where Raf Honigstein believes Lewandowski seems to be comfortable despite suffering a fractured nose and jaw at the end of April.

Beware the law of small numbers. Up until the semifinal in Belo Horizonte last summer -- you'll probably remember, it finished 7-1 -- Germany had never beaten Brazil at a World Cup before. They had not even managed a draw against the Selecao. Only defeats. Or, to be a bit more accurate: one defeat, in their one and only meeting up until then, in the 2002 final in Yokohoma. 2-0, Brazil won that one.

When the sample size is so small, it's not a good idea to draw grandiose conclusions. Yes, FC Bayern's...

Real Madrid struggle with Sergio Ramos in midfield and lack craft

Carlos Tevez's second-half penalty proved to be the decisive goal, as Juventus secured a 2-1 win over Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals.
ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson and Craig Burley break down Alvaro Morata's goal against his former club Real Madrid, where Sergio Ramos was left stranded.
The ESPN FC crew are joined by Raf Honigstein to discuss Real Madrid's 2-1 defeat to Juventus, where he feels Carlo Ancelotti's side lacked the midfield presence of Luka Modric.
Our football gurus discuss whether or not Carlo Ancelotti's tactics were too predictable in the match against Juventus.
Relive the most memorable moments from Tuesday's Champions League semifinal action.
ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson reviews Juventus' 2-1 win over Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal.
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo kept his team firmly in the tie with this crucial header against Juventus.
Juventus forward Carlos Tevez earned and converted the game-winning penalty kick as his side took a vital 2-1 lead over Real Madrid in Turin.

The Spanish have this brilliant football word: pausa. Before I explain it, be assured that Real Madrid didn't have anything like enough of it while losing 2-1 to Juventus in Turin on Tuesday night in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal.

For English speakers, it is tempting to think of pausa as "pause" and someone who can "put their foot on the ball".

However, Valencia and Spain legend Gaizka Mendieta, who played in the 2000 Champions League final, expanded the concept to me: If you have...

Andrea Pirlo and Juventus a tactical handful all night for Real Madrid

Carlos Tevez's second-half penalty proved to be the decisive goal, as Juventus secured a 2-1 win over Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals.
ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson and Craig Burley break down Alvaro Morata's goal against his former club Real Madrid, where Sergio Ramos was left stranded.
The ESPN FC crew are joined by Raf Honigstein to discuss Real Madrid's 2-1 defeat to Juventus, where he feels Carlo Ancelotti's side lacked the midfield presence of Luka Modric.
Our football gurus discuss whether or not Carlo Ancelotti's tactics were too predictable in the match against Juventus.
Relive the most memorable moments from Tuesday's Champions League semifinal action.
ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson reviews Juventus' 2-1 win over Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal.
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo kept his team firmly in the tie with this crucial header against Juventus.
Juventus forward Carlos Tevez earned and converted the game-winning penalty kick as his side took a vital 2-1 lead over Real Madrid in Turin.

Andrea Pirlo intimated before Tuesday's semifinal first leg against Real Madrid that he will walk off into the sunset if Juventus win the Champions League this season. Tonight was one step closer.

Grabbed by Sky Italia immediately after referee Martin Atkinson blew full-time on a 2-1 win, the playmaker felt that he and his teammates had made another statement in this competition to rival their performances against Borussia Dortmund. "We sent the message that we are here," he said. "We want this final...

 By Rob Train

Ramos and Carvajal miscues hand advantage to Juventus

Our football gurus discuss whether or not Carlo Ancelotti's tactics were too predictable in the match against Juventus.

Real Madrid can think of themselves as lucky to have escaped the Juventus Stadium with a 2-1 scoreline that keeps the Champions League tie between the sides alive ahead of next week's second leg after a below-par performance that could and should have been punished more severely by Massimiliano's Allegri team.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti again opted to play Sergio Ramos in midfield rather than trusting either Asier Illarramendi or Lucas Silva with the task and in Turin it was a decision that backfired...

 By Mina Rzouki

Carlos Tevez, Stefano Sturaro lead Juventus to victory over Real Madrid

Carlos Tevez's second-half penalty proved to be the decisive goal, as Juventus secured a 2-1 win over Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals.
ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson and Craig Burley break down Alvaro Morata's goal against his former club Real Madrid, where Sergio Ramos was left stranded.
The ESPN FC crew are joined by Raf Honigstein to discuss Real Madrid's 2-1 defeat to Juventus, where he feels Carlo Ancelotti's side lacked the midfield presence of Luka Modric.
Our football gurus discuss whether or not Carlo Ancelotti's tactics were too predictable in the match against Juventus.
Relive the most memorable moments from Tuesday's Champions League semifinal action.
ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson reviews Juventus' 2-1 win over Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal.
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo kept his team firmly in the tie with this crucial header against Juventus.
Juventus forward Carlos Tevez earned and converted the game-winning penalty kick as his side took a vital 2-1 lead over Real Madrid in Turin.

The stadium roared with nervous energy. After 12 long years Juventus were back in the semifinals of the Champions League about to play the greatest team in Europe, Real Madrid. The team stepped onto the pitch with confidence, but the fans were somewhat scared; was the Old Lady going to play to her potential or would Cristiano Ronaldo and co. destroy her usually strong defence?

Juventus started the match in confident fashion, playing a direct style of football while demonstrating their fluid passing...