Ronaldo’s sensational Champions League comeback against Atletico Madrid
Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick against his favourite opponents Atletico Madrid. Juventus stormed back from a two-goal first-leg deficit to beat Atletico Madrid 3-0 in the return and reached the Champions League quarterfinals.
This is the first time Juventus have overturned a first-leg defeat to go through since the 2005/06 round of 16 against Bremen.
Cristiano Ronaldo made the breakthrough in the first half, levelled the score three minutes after halftime with another towering header and eventually turnaround the match with a penalty at 86th minute.
Rolando’s eighth hat-trick in the Champions League made him back in competition with Lionel Messi. The former Real Madrid player also took his tally against Atletico to 25 goals in 33 matches in all competitions.
Juventus bombarded the Atletico area with crosses but made little headway against a packed defence until Federico Bernardeschi switched to the left and floated a cross to the far post where Ronaldo outjumped Juanfran to head in.
Juventus continued to press Atletico from making the away goal that could have changed the complexion of the tie.
Another powerful header made by Ronaldo was clawed away by Oblak, but goal line technology showed that it had crossed the line by centimetres which the referee signalled a goal.
Juventus continue to battle for silverware on two fronts and could clinch the Italian title – they are already 18 points clear – before the quarter-finals.
Atlético, second in Spain and seven points behind Barcelona, have three crucial Liga fixtures against Athletic, Alavés and Girona before heading to the leaders on 6 April.