Cristiano Ronaldo was simply incredible on his much promised ‘fantastic night’ against Atletico Madrid at the Allianz Stadium.
Playing in front of the 40,884 ecstatic fans, the Portuguese legend put 3 goals past Atletico’s goalkeeper, Jan Oblak to record an upset against a team that boasts of the strongest defence line in the Spanish La Liga.
It was evergreen Ronaldo’s first hat-trick for Juventus and he found a night of superlative performance to showcase his dominance of the champions league.
Ronaldo netted one goal in each half and then converted a late penalty as Juventus advanced 3-2 on aggregate, ending Atletico’s hopes of reaching the final at home in its Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
It was Ronaldo’s eighth hat-trick in the championship league, moving him level with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and demonstrating why Juventus paid Real Madrid £100m for the Portugal star who has become the lone star of the competition in recent years.
Ronaldo is looking for a fourth straight and sixth Champions League title, while Madrid were eliminated without him by Ajax last week.
Juventus thought they had taken the lead less than three minutes into the game but VAR confirmed that Ronaldo had fouled Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak before Giorgio Chiellini fired in the rebound.
Italy forward Federico Bernardeschi was handed a start instead of Paulo Dybala for Juventus, and he responded by putting in a cross from the left for Ronaldo to head in at the far post in the 27th minute. Bernardeschi also had several chances to extend Juve’s lead – notably with an audacious overhead kick in the 35th minute which flew narrowly over.
Ronaldo went close again shortly before half-time when he again outjumped everyone but headed Leonardo Spinazzola’s cross wide of the right post.
Ronaldo did get the second goal three minutes after the break. Joao Cancelo put in a cross from the right and although Oblak clawed Ronaldo’s header out from under his crossbar, goal-line technology confirmed the ball had crossed the line.
Juventus went all out attack and got the decisive third goal four minutes from time. Bernardeschi was nudged over in the penalty area and Ronaldo converted the resulting spot kick to send the home fans wild.