The Champions League is always a subject of conversation in Montreal, probably due to the club's adventures in Concacaf these past few years. While the Red Bulls and Toronto FC played the second legs of their Concacaf Champions League semi-final ties, four quarterfinal matchups were taking place on the Old Continent as well, in the UEFA Champions League. After Roma shocked the world on Tuesday, beating Barcelona 3-0 and advancing on away goals, it was Juve’s turn to do the impossible, and come back from losing 3-0, at home, against the incomparable Real Madrid.
Against all odds, Juve did just that, scoring three goals to tie the matchup. It had midfielder Ignacio Piatti thinking of comebacks he experienced throughout his career.
“I remember once with San Lorenzo, we were playing in the Copa Libertadores, and we scored in the last five minutes,” said Piatti. “Yesterday, Juve did really well but the penalty was unfortunate. But it’s great for Serie A teams to achieve such results.”
But in stoppage time, the tides turned for the Italian giant. Lucas Vázquez was fouled in the box, and the referee pointed to the spot. To makes things worst, Buffon’s passion got the better of him, and he was sent off for his fiery protests.
“To be fair I think it probably is a penalty,” said Bush. “But whether it’s a penalty or not, I think the referee needs to show a little bit more composure instead of sending off the best goalkeeper in the history of the game, in my opinion. Unless the referee is getting punched in the face by him, you can’t send him off there. One, because of the storyline, and two, because of the penalty.”
Ronaldo would go on to score the penalty, beating the substitute keeper with a rocket to the top right corner. Despite the heartbreaking ending for the Italian club, the matchup made supporters experience the highs and lows of football in very little time.
“It’s football’s most intense moments, at the highest level possible,” said head coach Rémi Garde. “Just to see Juve come back from three goals down, at the Bernabéu, it shows me how incredible these clubs truly are. Their history is so rich that it allows them to achieve moments. The end of the game was dramatic for drama’s sake, with the intensity of everyone’s emotions. Whether or not it was a penalty, I don’t think my opinion is very interesting.”