UEFA Champions League enters the finishing straight
It’s advantage Juventus in the first semi-final first leg
Recently crowned Serie A champions Juventus, take a slender lead into their Champions League semi-final second leg after a 2-1 win in Turin against a toothless and off colour Real Madrid.
The hosts took an early lead through former Real striker Alvaro Morata, only for Cristiano Ronaldo to level the score against the run of play just before the half-hour mark with a simply taken header.
However, after being brought down Dani Carvajal in the eighteen yard box, Carlos Tevez restored Juventus’ advantage from the penalty spot. The Argentine veteran also coming very close to scoring again in the latter stages but just missed marginally.
So with a small deficit yet a vital away goal to their names, Real will host Juve at the Bernabeu in the return leg in their quest to become the first side to retain the Champions League crown in the modern era.
Pep returns home to the Nou Camp tonight
Earmarked as ‘judgement day’ for Guardiola, tonight could be a defining moment in the Champions League, according to Sky Sports pundit Guillem Balague.
As the Spanish legend takes his Bayern team back to his spiritual home, many are asking if this new team can win the trophy without the likes of Messi, Xavi or Iniesta in his arsenal. With a Barca front line that would terrify most defences, Guardiola has got his work cut out trying to stop the likes of Messi, Neymar and Suarez; all of whom are capable of unlocking practically any defence on any given night.
Pep also has to deal with his own problems, as his Bayern side are missing the key trio Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and David Alaba ahead of the trip to Catalonia. Any one of those would be a major loss but all three seemingly makes the Catalan giants the favourite for this first leg.
With Barca being tipped as arguably their best since the departure of Pep, it makes for a pulsating prospect tonight and one for any football fan not to miss.
Catch all the action live and exclusive to Sky Sports 5 HD tonight from 7.00pm
F1 returns to Europe this weekend
Can anyone gatecrash the Mercedes v Ferrari monopoly? Right now, it’s looking highly unlikely however, with the recent break and a chance to add much-needed enhancements from pre-season testing, some teams including Williams may spring a surprise.
Lewis Hamilton is to date, looking pretty imperious and even with the pressure of teammate Nico Rosberg trying to spoil the party, thus far it seems that nothing is going to distract the reigning world champion in his quest for a third title. However, if any race is going to spring a few surprises; this is the one to watch…
With a whole array of upgrades scheduled for the Spanish GP, there’s a strong possibility that an also-ran may take a sudden leap forward to join Mercedes and Ferrari pairing at the front of the grid.
Most pundits believe this is unlikely to happen. Even if a Red Bull or a Williams were to discover massive performance improvements, Mercedes and Ferrari already have plenty in the tank if that eventually were to occur.
The only way to find out is to tune into Sky Sports F1 this weekend and see the action unfold, starting with practice on Friday, qualifying on Saturday and the main event this Sunday from 1.00pm.