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Sport Real Madrid, Juventus on verge of Champions League final

18:46  08 may  2017
18:46  08 may  2017 Source:   ap.org

Injured Bale expected to miss Champions League semifinals

  Injured Bale expected to miss Champions League semifinals Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale is expected to miss the Champions League semifinals because of a calf muscle injury.The club said tests on Tuesday confirmed the extent of the left calf injury that forced Bale to leave the Spanish league game against Barcelona on Sunday before halftime.Madrid did not specify how long it expects Bale to be sidelined, but similar injuries usually require three to four weeks of recovery time.The first leg against city rival Atletico Madrid in the Champions League semifinals is next week. The second leg is on May 10.

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The ESPN FC crew breaks down the upcoming Champions League matchup between Real Madrid and Juventus , a rematch of last season's final . ✔ Subscribe to ESPN


MADRID (AP) -- It could be a momentous week for Juventus. And a big one for Real Madrid, too.

Two of Europe's grandest teams will be defending big leads this week in the second leg of the Champions League semifinals.

Juventus beat Monaco 2-0 last week in its quest to reach the final for the second time in three seasons. Madrid, looking to become the first team to win back-to-back Champions League titles, defeated Atletico Madrid 3-0.

Madrid won the title in 2014 and 2016, both times against Atletico, while Juventus lost to Barcelona in 2015. The Italian club is seeking its first Champions League title in more than two decades.

Juventus aiming to make experience count against Monaco

  Juventus aiming to make experience count against Monaco Veteran Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is hopeful the experience in the Italian team's ranks can give them the edge in their Champions League semi-final against a youthful Monaco. The sides meet at the Stade Louis II in the first leg on Wednesday in a fascinating clash of styles -- on the one side Europe's most thrilling attack, on the other the continent's best defence.Leonardo Jardim's Monaco have won admirers for a brand of attacking football that has brought them almost 150 goals across all competitions and has them on the brink of winning the French title.

The 2016/17 Champions League Final will be contested by Real Madrid and Juventus , both Champions of their nations’ domestic leagues and arguably possessing

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JUVENTUS vs. MONACO

The Italian champions have a chance to return to the Champions League final and clinch an unprecedented sixth Serie A title this week.

"First we have to recover some energy and then we will focus on Monaco," Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said after his team's 1-1 draw against Torino, which still left the club in position to secure the title when it visits second-place Roma five days after the game against Monaco.

"Passing the round is not a given," he said. "Roma comes after."

Allegri rested several key players in the derby match and Juventus struggled at times despite playing with a numerical advantage for more than half an hour. The Bianconeri, who missed the chance to extend their league record to 34 straight home wins, needed a stoppage-time equalizer from substitute Gonzalo Higuain.

Ronaldo leads Madrid to 3-0 win over Atletico in CL semis

  Ronaldo leads Madrid to 3-0 win over Atletico in CL semis Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat trick to lead Real Madrid to a commanding 3-0 win over city rival Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal on Tuesday. Ronaldo scored with a header in the 10th minute, with a strike into the top corner in the 73rd and a close-range shot in the 86th to give the defending champions a comfortable lead going into next week's second leg at Atletico's Vicente Calderon Stadium.Monaco hosts Juventus in the first leg of the other semifinal on Wednesday.

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Juventus will again look to Higuain to lead its attack on Tuesday against Monaco, especially after the Argentina forward scored both goals in the first leg. Higuain hadn't previously scored in a Champions League knockout match since 2013.

Monaco needs one more goal to reach 150 for the season but at least two to have a chance of reaching the final.

"We have to be confident against Juventus, even though it's going to be very difficult," Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim said. "We must keep playing good football the way we know. If we score early on, maybe that can change things."

Jardim will be hoping 18-year-old striker Kylian Mbappe and top scorer Radamel Falcao do better than in the first leg, when both missed good chances to score against Gianluigi Buffon.

In order to keep Mbappe as fresh as possible, Jardim named him as a substitute for the match at Nancy on Saturday, when Monaco won 3-0 for a club-record ninth straight league win. Monaco moved closer to the French title and reached 149 goals in all competitions this season: The ideal confidence-booster before facing Juventus.

Monaco 0 Juventus 2: Higuain answers critics to put Allegri's men in control

  Monaco 0 Juventus 2: Higuain answers critics to put Allegri's men in control Juventus took a huge step towards the Champions League final by earning a two-goal win over Monaco, courtesy of Gonzalo Higuain.Juve striker Higuain came into the match having only netted twice in his last 24 knockout games in the competition, but banished his reputation as a player who does not shine in big games by scoring the same amount in a single match at Stade Louis II.

The Champions League semifinals resume this week with Real Madrid and Juventus looking to defend big first-leg victories. MADRID (AP) — It could be a momentous week for Juventus . And a big one for Real Madrid , too. Two of Europe's grandest teams will be defending big leads this week in

Real have escaped into the semi- finals ! Juventus hit three goals to cancel out the first-leg score and move to the brink of a sensational, historic triumph. But then Michael Oliver awarded a penalty following an untidy tackle by Benatia - but was it a foul? - and Ronaldo seized his moment. This tie will be

Mbappe only played 10 minutes late on against Nancy, but still had enough time to set up the third goal, while Falcao saved some valuable energy for Tuesday by coming off about 15 minutes from the end.

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ATLETICO MADRID vs. REAL MADRID

Atletico's much-hyped defense failed in the first leg, and now it's up to the offense to try to get the team back on its feet.

Forwards Antoine Griezmann and Kevin Gameiro will need to regain their best form and come up with outstanding performances on Wednesday if Atletico is to overturn the three-goal deficit from the first leg. The French duo has struggled recently, scoring only three goals between them in their last six games.

Griezmann, the team's top player, hasn't scored in four matches.

No team has ever reversed a two-goal loss in the Champions League semifinals.

"This is probably impossible for many, but not for us," Atletico coach Diego Simeone said.

The second leg will mark the final European game at the Vicente Calderon Stadium before Atletico moves into a new venue next season. It has won 29 of its last 35 European games at the stadium, with only two losses. It hasn't lost in 10 straight home games in European competitions.

Ronaldo: 'I am from this planet!'

  Ronaldo: 'I am from this planet!' The Real Madrid superstar has often been described as 'out of this world' but the forward has a more terrestrial assessment of his qualityReal Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has insisted "I am from this planet" after reaching another milestone in Tuesday's Champions League win over Atletico Madrid.

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Real Madrid became the first club in the modern era of the Champions League to successfully defend the title with a 4-1 win over Juventus in Saturday's

Madrid is trying to become the first team to have a chance to defend its title since Manchester United made it to consecutive finals in 2008-09. No team has won back-to-back titles since the competition's new format was created in 1992.

Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane will be able to count on a fresh Cristiano Ronaldo, who was rested in the team's Spanish league win over Granada on Saturday. Ronaldo scored a hat trick in the first leg against Atletico, and had five goals in the two games against Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals.

The Portugal forward had scored 21 goals in 28 appearances against Atletico.

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AP Sports Writers Daniella Matar in Milan and Jerome Pugmire in Paris contributed to this report.

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More AP Champions League coverage: http://apne.ws/2lgcPZm

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Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni

Video by CBS Sports

Related photos: Famous soccer fans (provided by photo services)

Atletico Madrid 2 Real Madrid 1 (2-4 agg): Calderon comeback falls short as Isco sets up Juventus showdown .
Atletico Madrid's last Champions League game at Vicente Calderon ended in victory, but Real Madrid will meet Juventus in the final.Two goals in the first 16 minutes from Atleti threatened to produce another memorable comeback in this season's tournament, until Isco's strike just before half-time effectively ended those hopes and sealed a 4-2 aggregate win.

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