Champions League Wrap: Real Madrid, Juventus Complete Semifinal Quartet

Real Madrid and Juventus join Barcelona and Bayern Munich as the last teams standing in the UEFA Champions League.

Host Real Madrid defeated Atletico Madrid 1-0, and visiting Juventus played Monaco to a goal-less draw Wednesday in the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinals. The results gave Real Madrid and Juventus 1-0 aggregate wins, earning both a place in the semifinals of European soccer’s elite competition.

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez scored the game-winning goal for Real Madrid, which struggled to break down Ateltico Madrid over the course of both games. Real Madrid increased the pressure in the last 15 minutes, following Arda Turan’s dismissal for his second yellow card. Hernandez struck in the 88th minute, giving Real Madrid its first win over its La Liga rival in eight games this season.

Real Madrid’s quest to become the first team to defend its Champions League title remains on track.

Juventus, Italy’s most successful club, returns to the Champions League semifinals for the first time in 12 years. Arturo Vidal’s goal gave Juventus a narrow lead in last week’s first leg, and the “Old Lady” (as the club is commonly known) kept Monaco off the scoreboard in the return leg.

Juventus’ progression to the semis completes a remarkable return to the ranks of Europe’s true elie. Juventus was relegated in 2006 for its role in a match-fixing scandal that rocked Italian soccer. Most of Juventus’ leading players left the club, forcing it to rebuild and work its way back to domestic, and now continental, prominence in recent years.

UEFA will conduct the draw for the Champions League semifinals Friday morning, and the first legs will take place May 5 and May 6. The second legs will be May 12 and May 13. The semifinal winners will meet June 6 at Olympiastadion in Berlin for the right to call themselves European champions.

Chicharito’s game-winning goal for Real Madrid (video) >>

Thumbnail photo via Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

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