Real Madrid feel that Juventus were lucky
to escape from the Bernabeu with just a 1-0 defeat in Tuesday's
Champions League tie.
The goal came when Real centre-back Ivan Helguera flicked a glancing
header into the far corner after England captain David Beckham had
whipped in a free kick from the left just after the half-hour mark.
Raul, Ronaldo and defender Walter Samuel all had opportunities to extend
Real's lead, but ultimately the Spaniards had to settle for a slender
one-goal advantage ahead of the return leg of the first knockout round
"We are a little bit disappointed because we felt that the result didn't
do us justice," said Portuguese midfielder Luis Figo. "The good thing,
though, was that we didn't let in a goal and that makes us optimistic
about our chances when we go there."
For Juventus, who rarely managed to threaten the Real goal, it was a
first defeat in this season's Champions League and only the second time
they had conceded a goal.
It has been a bad month for Fabio Capello's side, who have frittered
away an eight-point advantage at the top of the Serie A and no longer
possess the aura of invincibility that allowed them to qualify for the
knockout stages with such ease.
Real, in contrast, have been in fine form since Brazilian coach
Vanderlei Luxemburgo took charge at the end of last year, putting
together a seven-match winning streak in the league before going down
2-0 to Athletic Bilbao last weekend.
Part of the reason for the improvement has been their new-found
confidence in defence says keeper Iker Casillas.
"The most positive aspect was our performance at the back," he said. "Once
more we were very solid at the back and dealt comfortably with the few
chances they had. Not conceding any goals at home was very good news.
"We are a little disappointed we didn't score any more ourselves and we
didn't make the most of our chances we had, but this is a good result.
If we get a goal in Turin they are going to have to score three to get
Former Juventus player Zinedine Zidane, who turned in one of his best
performances of the season, was also upbeat about his side's chances of
making the quarter-finals.
"We played really well and deserved a second goal," he said. "Apart from
our defeat in the league at the weekend, the team is playing a lot
better. We have started 2005 in good shape and this is the way we have
The only negative note for Real was a suspected knee ligament injury to
right back Michel Salgado, who was forced to leave the field early on
after colliding with Pavel Nedved.