Ronaldo hattrick sends former rivals crashing out of the Champions League
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hattrick as Juventus won 3-0 to recover from their 2-0 1st-leg away defeat to Atletico Madrid to progress to the quarter finals of the Champion’s League 3-2 on aggregate.
Ronaldo scored two headers from crosses by Federico Bernardeschi and Joao Cancelo respectively, before firing a penalty past Jan Oblak after Bernardeschi was brought down by Atletico substitute Angel Correa in the box.
Having been defeated 2-0 by Atletico at the Wanda Metropolitano in the first leg Juventus had a mountain to climb but they did not seem daunted by the task.
While Atletico sat back and tried to hold the lead and catch the Italians on the break, Juventus started the game ferociously.
After three minutes, Giorgio Chiellini close range finish was disallowed after Ronaldo was adjudged to have kicked the ball out of Jan Oblak’s hands in the scramble before the Italian tapped in.
Juventus players surrounded Norwegian referee Bjorn Kuipers and demanded the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) but Kuipers did not even refer back to it.
Chances were few for the away side who were missing the suspended Diego Costa and Thomas Partey, and Antoine Griezmann’s powerful 25-yard drive which stung the hands of Wojciech Szczesny was their only shot on target in the first half.
After 27 minutes Atletico’s 2-0 aggregate lead was halved after Cristiano Ronaldo outjumped Diego Godin at the back post to head Federico Bernardeschi’s cross past Jan Oblak.
Alvaro Morata had a golden chance to score a vital away goal, but the Chelsea Loanee was unable to keep his free header from Koke’s cross down and the ball sailed harmlessly over
Leonardo Spinazzola, who came in for the suspended Alex Sandro, found Ronaldo at the back post with an almost identical cross to the one the Portugese scored from Bernardeschi, however, Ronaldo could not keep the header on target.
Chiellini, dripping in blood at the time, firmly met Miralem Pjanic’s out-swinging corner and thought he had equalised, but Oblak was equal to it and tipped it over the crossbar
Ronaldo was a constant menace and he scored a second header to equal the tie when he met Joao Cancelo’s header and guided it into the top left-hand corner.
Oblak got a strong hand and looked to have clawed it out but goal-line technology showed that the ball had crossed the line despite the Slovenian keeper’s best efforts.
Mario Mandzukic, who scored the winner for Croatia when they beat England in the World Cup semi-final, had a great chance to put the home side ahead in the tie, but he closed his eyes and headed Miralem Pjanic’s free-kick onto his own knee and the ball bobbled harmlessly out of play.
Juventus substitute Moise Kean had a golden chance to score the vital third goal when a lofted through ball put him through but he dragged his shot wide.
Atletico substitute Angel Correa then clumsily brought down Bernardeschi in the box and the Norwegian referee pointed to the spot.
Ronaldo stepped up and fired the penalty past the despairing Oblak to give Masimiliano Allegri’s side the advantage.
Atletico, sent on Machin-Perez in the hope to find an away goal but in the end, they did not look like scoring.
Ronaldo’s hattrick tonight means that the former Real Madrid and Manchester United star has now scored 24 goals against Atletico Madrid.
Juventus team (4-3-3): (White and black shirt, white shorts, white socks).
Wojciech Szczesny, Cavaco Cancelo, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Spinazzola, Emre Can, Miralem Pjanic, Blaise Matuidi, Leonardo Bernardeschi, Mario Mandzukic, Cristiano Ronaldo
Paolo Dybala for Leonardo Spinazzola (67),
Mario Mandzukic (80)
Caceres, Perin, Rugani, Bentancur, Nicolussi Caviglia
Atletico Madrid team (4-4-2): (Blue shirt, blue shorts, navy socks).
Oblak, Santiago Arias, Jose Gimenez, Diego Godin, Juanfran, Koke, Saul Niguez, Hernandez, Lemar, Morata, Griezman.
Angel Correa for Thomas Lemar (56),
Machin Perez for Arias (77)
Adan, N Kalinic, Savic, Machin Perez, Carro, Montero