Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick to power Juventus into the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League at Atletico Madrid’s expense on Tuesday.
Ronaldo’s goals in Turin erased a 2-0 deficit from the first leg, as the player who lifted this trophy in four of the last five seasons with Real Madrid, confirmed his status as the man for the big occasions.
Manchester City will join the Bianconeri in the last eight after coasting into the draw thanks to a 7-0 win over Schalke 04 at the Etihad Stadium. It meant an eye-catching 10-2 aggregate win for the in-form Citizens.
City and Juve are in the hat with Manchester United, Ajax, Tottenham Hotspur and Porto for Friday’s draw in Nyon.
Manchester City 7-0 Schalke 04 (City win 10-2 on aggregate)
Juventus 3-0 Atletico Madrid (Juve win 3-2 on aggregate)
Ronaldo’s opening goal on 27 minutes put Juve back in the tie. The 34-year-old made amends after earlier being adjudged to have fouled Atleti goalkeeper Jan Oblak, ruling out a goal after a video review.
Ronaldo struck again less than three minutes after the restart when his header was deemed to have crossed the line, despite Oblak appearing to have clawed it to safety. Referee Bjorn Kuipers quickly made his decision with the aid of goal-line technology.
Extra time was looming, but things took a decisive turn when Angel Correa was flagged for a foul on Federico Bernardeschi in the box. While there was controversy about the decision, there was no surprise about Ronaldo being the one to finish emphatically from 12 yards.
City were two up after 38 minutes thanks to a Sergio Aguero brace. The prolific No. 10 scored his first from the penalty spot, before finishing well after being played in by a back-heel from Raheem Sterling.
Those contributions were proof of Aguero’s enduring class as City’s attacking talisman.
Leroy Sane made it 3-0 and put the tie out of sight two minutes before the break. It was a bittersweet moment for Sane, who netted his 50th goal for City at the expense of his former club.
Sterling and Bernardo Silva added goals during the second half as City cruised through the gears. There was also still time for 18-year-old Phil Foden to open his Champions League account.
Gabriel Jesus netted a seventh as short-on-mercy City made a statement about their ability to win this trophy. Manager Pep Guardiola has a squad strong and deep enough in attacking areas to beat anybody left in the tournament.
However, there aren’t many better alternatives to the individual star power Ronaldo has transferred from the Spanish capital to Juve.