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11th Apr 2018

Gianluigi Buffon’s Champions League career ends in carnage

Well that was dramatic

Darragh Murphy

You’d struggle to remember a more dramatic week of Champions League action.

Tuesday set the table perfectly with Roma’s shock comeback against Barcelona and Liverpool seeing out a 5-1 aggregate win against Manchester City.

The drama carried over into the quarter-final second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night, when Real Madrid had a 3-0 lead to defend from last week.

But the fight shown from Juventus was incredible as Mario Mandzukic book-ended the first half with a brace before Blaise Matuidi restored parity.

For all the world, it looked like Juve had guaranteed themselves extra time at the very least but the hosts continued to pile on the pressure, looking for that one goal which would see them safely into the semi-final.

And it couldn’t have come in more hair-raising manner as Gianluigi Buffon, who has previously suggested that this would be his final European campaign, was sent off in the final minute of the match.

Substitute Lucas Vasquez went down under a challenge inside the six yard box and referee Michael Oliver didn’t hesitate to point to the spot.

Having come so close, Buffon lost his head and remonstrated with the official but did so a little too aggressively and was handed his marching orders.

Cristiano Ronaldo converted the spot-kick to send Zinedine Zidane’s side through to the final four but it was not without its controversy and carnage as Buffon bowed out in Zidane-esque fashion.