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Real, Juventus complete Champions League semis line-up

By The Citizen
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Real Madrid and Juventus scraped into the Champions League semifinals on Wednesday, joining already qualified Bayern Munich and Barcelona.

Defending Champions Real edged city rivals Atletico 1-0 thanks to an 88th-minute winner from on-loan striker Javier Hernandez after a goalless first leg.

Juventus also made it to the last-four after a 0-0 draw in Monaco allowed them to qualify courtesy of their 1-0 first leg win in Italy last week.

Bayern and Barcelona had made sure of their places on Tuesday leaving Friday’s semifinal draw to feature four teams with 21 European Cup triumphs between them.

The tie in Madrid was a repeat of last season’s final, won by Real 4-1 after extra-time, but Atletico had gone unbeaten in seven previous meetings against their city rivals this season.

However, the visitors had to play the final 14 minutes with 10 men as Arda Turan was shown a second yellow card for a high challenge on Sergio Ramos.

Hernandez then finally got the all-important goal after brilliant work from James Rodriguez and Cristiano Ronaldo left the Mexican (on loan from Manchester United) with the simplest of finishes from close range.

Juventus made the last four of the Champions League for the first time since 2003 after a goalless draw in their quarterfinal, second leg with Monaco saw them progress 1-0 on aggregate.

A controversial Arturo Vidal penalty in the first leg in Turin last week ultimately proved enough for the Serie A leaders, who relied on their defensive strength to see off opponents again let down by their lack of quality in the final third.

A Monaco side full of youthful enthusiasm pushed forward for long spells, but Juventus - who had let in just one goal in their previous nine matches - always looked in control and veteran ‘keeper Gianluigi Buffon was never seriously threatened.

The Italian giants came closest to scoring from a 90th-minute Andrea Pirlo free-kick that clipped the bar.

On Tuesday, doubles from Robert Lewandowski and Neymar inspired Bayern Munich and Barcelona into the semifinals.

Lewandowski’s brace came in a crazy first half where Bayern rattled five goals past a demoralised Porto side, who had gone into the game leading 3-1 after the first leg and with real hopes of reaching their first semifinal since they won the trophy in 2004.

The game ended 6-1 and a 7-4 aggregate victory for Bayern, extending coach Pep Guardiola’s remarkable record in the competition where he has never failed to reach the last four.

Neymar also scored his double in the first half for Guardiola’s former side Barcelona as they eased to a 2-0 win on the night and a 5-1 aggregate win over French champions Paris Saint Germain.

While Barcelona reached their seventh semifinal in eight seasons, for PSG it was their third successive exit at this stage.