Juventus 2-1 Real Madrid: Tevez penalty lifts Juve over defending champs


Carlos Tevez’s brilliant season for Juventus continued today as the striker’s second-half penalty kick was the difference in Juve’s 2-1 win over Real Madrid at Juventus Stadium.

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Massimiliano Allegri’s men now hold a slight advantage heading into the second leg of their UEFA Champions League semifinal matchup, which will take place next Wednesday in Madrid.

[ RELATED: Champions League schedule ]

Juventus had a positive start to the game and was rewarded within the opening ten minutes. Carlos Tevez found a massive gap in the Real defense and took a through ball from Claudio Marchisio, firing on net. His shot was stopped by Iker Casillas, but Alvaro Morata was there at the back post to tap in the rebound against his former club. Nine minutes in and the hosts had the lead.

The match had a good pace to it, and both teams looked fluid when they got forward on the attack. Real Madrid found an equalizer in the 27th minute, when the head of Cristiano Ronaldo connected with a cross from James Rodriguez. It was Ronaldo’s 76th UEFA Champions League goal, and he now holds a one goal advantage over Lionel Messi for the most in the competition’s history.

[ VIDEO: Cristiano Ronaldo scores record-breaking 76th Champions League goal ]

Madrid nearly took the lead towards the end of the half, but James Rodriguez was rejected by the crossbar. Isco played a cross in which found James open in the six-yard box, but the Colombian couldn’t keep his header down as the teams went into the break level at one.

Juventus got off to another good start in the second half, and regained the lead in the 58th minute when a blocked shot in their own end sent Carlos Tevez on a full-field counter attack. Tevez took the ball all the way into the Real box and was taken down by Dani Carvajal to earn Juventus a penalty. Tevez finished what he started, beating Casillas down the middle from the spot to put Juve back ahead 2-1.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men controlled most of the possession down the stretch of the match, but failed to create any dangerous chances on goal. Gareth Bale was nearly invisible for Real, and was substituted off for the final minutes. However, they did score that crucial away goal, which could be massive come the second leg.


Juventus: Buffon, Lichtsteiner, Bonucci, Chiellini, Evra, Marchisio, Pirlo, Sturaro (Barzagli, 64′), Vidal, Tevez (Pereyra, 86′), Morata (Llorente, 78′)

Goals: Morata (9′), Tevez (58′)

Real Madrid: Casillas, Varane, Pepe, Carvajal, Marcelo, Ramos, Isco (Hernandez, 63′), Kroos, James, Ronaldo, Bale (Jese, 86′)

Goal: Ronaldo (27′)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic says goodbye to the LA Galaxy

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic has bid adieu to Major League Soccer, thanking the LA Galaxy for “making me feel alive again.”

The Swedish superstar averaged nearly a goal per game with the Galaxy, and was rumored to be in line for another two years at the club.

[ MORE: Columbus acquires Nagbe ]

Perhaps those reports, and maybe AC Milan’s struggles to score goals, have made more suitors come forward. Time will tell.

The Galaxy said the decision was a “mutual parting of ways” and thanked the player for his work both on and off the pitch.

From LAGalaxy.com:

“We would like to thank Zlatan for his contributions to the LA Galaxy and Major League Soccer,” said LA Galaxy President Chris Klein. “Since his arrival in 2018, Zlatan has positively influenced the sport of soccer in Los Angeles. We are grateful for his work ethic and passion. We thank Zlatan for his professionalism and immeasurable impact on the Los Angeles community and the soccer community in North America as a whole.”

Zlatan’s full thoughts, below, were a bit more Zlatanny.

Klein will have his hands full in replacing Ibrahimovic, who scored 52 times in 53 matches, but the Galaxy have always managed to bring in big names.

Getting a star playmaker is even more important as El Trafico rivals LAFC have rewritten the MLS record book and snared plenty of attention in California and across the league.

Columbus acquires Nagbe from Atlanta for $1M in allocation

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Darlington Nagbe is headed for a reunion with old boss Caleb Porter.

Columbus has sent over $1 million in allocation money to Atlanta United in order to claim the influential midfielder.

[ MORE: Top 25 players in USMNT pool ]

Porter coached Nagbe at the University of Akron and the Portland Timbers, and has 25 USMNT caps but has turned down Gregg Berhalter’s requests for service.

Nagbe made 46 appearances across all competitions for the Five Stripes this season, scoring twice with five assists. He has 313 matches played between Portland and Atlanta.

From MLSSoccer.com:

“Darlington Nagbe is a proven winner and the type of player who can be a difference-maker in our team,” Crew SC president and GM Tim Bezbatchenko said in a statement. “In addition to his skill set, we believe that Darlington is someone whose character and values fit well within our organization. As we stated heading into this offseason, we continue to look both domestically and internationally for players that will make our team better, and we believe Darlington is an important part of those efforts.”

It’s a bold statement from Columbus, who had a reputation for getting the most of its talent under Berhalter but faded under Porter after a hot start. The Crew began 2019 with a 4-1-1 record but lost 13 of its next 15 matches.

Of course, being MLS, the Crew then only lost 2 of their final 13 matches. Shoulder shrug emoji.

NYCFC teen agrees move to Borussia Monchengladbach

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New York City FC’s impressive academy has earned one of the bigger transfer market payoffs in MLS Homegrown history, and will join the current Bundesliga leaders after next season.

Joe Scally, 16, is headed to Borussia Monchengladbach on a $2 million transfer with a sell-on clause, and will spend the 2020 MLS season with his boyhood club. Scally has played in the Open Cup, but has not debuted in an MLS match.

[ MORE: Top 25 players in USMNT pool ]

The $2 million figure is on the edge of Top 30 for departing MLS players, according to Transfermarkt, just behind Cyle Larin’s move from Orlando City to Besiktas.

Scally appeared 11 times for the U.S. U-17 national team, going 90 minutes in all three matches and assisting on the lone American goal at the World Cup in Brazil.

From Borussia.de:

“Joe Scally is a top American talent who we have been following for a long time. We see a lot of potential in Joe and we are looking forward to him joining up with us in January 2021. Until then, we will work together with New York City FC to prepare him for his move to Germany,” said Borussia’s sporting director, Max Eberl.

Not sure just how long they could’ve been following a 16-year-old, but we digress.

Scally will join U-17 teammates Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund) and Maximilian Dietz (Freiburg) on the books at a Bundesliga club. Recent U-17 call-ups Pablo Soares (Gladbach) and Noah Jones (RB Leipzig) are also with clubs in Germany’s top flight.

Last month, NYCFC sporting director Claudio Reyna told me that Scally was the perfect example of a young player trusting a club’s preference of changing his position.

“The perfect example is Joe Scally on the U-17 World Cup team. He came to us from a club in Long Island as an athletic box-to-box midfielder. He was very strong, but we saw him as an outside back. The lesson that we now we share that with our players, don’t get upset if you move to a position, but Joe Scally understood, never complained, he played wherever he was told to do, and now he’s a right back now, 16 years old going to the World Cup after being in our academy for two and a half years.”

Looks like it’s worked out.

Spanish court to decide fate of Spanish league game in USA

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MADRID (AP) A Spanish court will decide whether the Spanish league will be allowed to play the Villarreal-Atletico Madrid game in the United States next month.

[ MORE: La Liga scores, schedule

A court hearing is scheduled for Thursday in Madrid to hear arguments from the league and the Spanish soccer federation, which is against taking the regular-season match abroad.

The league has called for an injunction to force the federation to give its approval. It accuses the local soccer body of unfair competition.

The league also needs the approval of UEFA and American soccer bodies to be able to play the match, which is scheduled for Dec. 6 in Miami.

The commercial court hearing the case is expected to issue a ruling within the next few days.

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