Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo produced another gem of a performance to steer Juventus into the UEFA Champions League quarter-final

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored his record-equalling 8th hat-trick in UEFA Champions League to turn the 2-0 1st leg deficit and win the tie by an aggregate score of 3-2 against Atletico Madrid.

Cristiano Ronaldo has led Juventus to a memorable Champions League comeback. Atletico Madrid has never lost a tie after going 2-0 up in the 1st leg and they have also not lost against any Italian side. But Cristiano Ronaldo made everything possible with his record equalling 8th hat-trick in the UEFA Champions League.

The VAR denied Juventus an early 4 minute lead. But in the 27th minute, Jon Oblak couldn’t save that powerful header from Cristiano Ronaldo. That goal gave hope to the whole of Turin and their was no looking back after that.

Then few minutes into the second half Ronaldo headed another powerful header into the Atletico Madrid’s net from Joao Cancelo’s cross. This time Oblak got a hand, but it was too late. The referee awarded that as a goal by the virtue of the goal line technology.

Another player who stood out for Juventus in the match other than Ronaldo was Federico Bernardeschi. Federico Bernardeschi’s inswinging cross from the left wing found Ronaldo towering above Juanfran for the opener. And when Bernardeschi’s solo run was illegally halted by substitute Angel Correa, Ronaldo completed his record-equalling 8th Champions League hat-trick from the penalty spot to down Atletico Madrid yet again.

Cristiano Ronaldo told Sky Sports Italia after knocking Atletico Madrid out for the fifth time: “This is why Juve brought me in, to help on magic nights like this. Atleti are a really tough team to face, but we are strong too and proved we deserved to go through. It’s too early to talk about the final, let’s take it one step at a time.
It had to be a special night and it was. Not just for the goals, but for the team and their incredible attitude. This is the mentality you need in the Champions League and we are on the right track.”

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone got too excited after his side’s 1st leg 2-0 win and went a long way with his celebration. The Argentine tactician escaped a touchline ban for his controversial ‘cojones’ celebration, but Uefa did hit him with a €20,000 fine and forced him to apologise.
But in the 2nd leg Simeone got the harshest punishment. Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick and celebrated his winning goal in the same style.

The Argentina legend Maradona is also amazed by Ronaldo’s remarkable feat. “There are players who have been touched by a magic wand,” he said, as quoted by Marca. “The truth is we Argentines are proud that Messi is Argentinian and that he didn’t go off with the Spanish [at international level]. The other one is an animal. Ronaldo is pure power, and now he’s also a wizard. He said he’d score three goals and he scored three goals.”

Atletico Madrid – losing finalists in 2014 and 2016 to Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid – struggled throughout and Griezmann lamented the side’s performance away from home. “We didn’t play the game we wanted to, it was a bad night and we made it easier for Juventus.” Griezmann told Sky Sport Italia. “We are all disappointed, as we just didn’t play. I’m the first to say I didn’t do enough, our tempo was wrong and Juventus were superior on every level.
Considering we won the first leg 2-0, we can’t say much. I don’t know what happened, it reminded me a little of the Bayern Munich game, but that time we were able to make some adjustments. Tonight, Juve were superior on all levels.
Ronaldo is a great player: he had three chances and scored three goals.”

Atletico Madrid captain Diego Godin added: “We weren’t able to find ways to attack them. They were able to score and we couldn’t score the goal that we needed to qualify. We will continue giving it our all until the end of the season.”

Matuidi hailed his team-mate after Juve’s incredible victory in Turin, where Ronaldo’s 86th-minute penalty sealed the win. “It was an extraordinary night for everyone – a special night from the first minute,” he said, via the club’s website. “We are very happy, and now we are moving ahead with our work. We want to continue to grow in order to progress further in the Champions League. We have a strong team, and Cristiano is the best player in the world.”

Bonucci said to Sky Sport Italia: “This is a great night for the Juventus fans. Many things were said, both after that game [the first leg] and over the last few days, but Juve always respond on the pitch. We had four chances and put three of them in. They did the same in the first leg, having two chances and scoring both. We put our cojones into this match. Atleti were missing players, but so were we, and Leonardo Spinazzola put in a great performance in an incredible atmosphere.
Everything that was said hit us on a human level and that brought more out of us. Our tactical approach was to push down the flanks with Spinazzola and [Joao] Cancelo, keeping their full-backs deep. We have a great coach who is leading us into the quarter-finals. We know this is football, people can’t wait for you to make a mistake, but the coach and team are big enough to shrug that off. It wasn’t easy, but we completed the comeback. It’s a boost of adrenaline that will push us on to [final date] June 1.”

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has also hailed Cristiano Ronaldo. He told in the news conference: “It’s impossible to think Cristiano with only one goal scored in this Champions League. He scored because he played well in the box and his team-mates worked well in the gameplay. A great match with an outstanding crowd supporting us and the players gave all Italian football fans a real show. That’s the most important thing.”

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