‘Invincible’ Ronaldo keeps Real in the hunt for history

April 11, 2018

Cristiano Ronaldo’s injury time penalty meant Juventus were knocked out of the Champions League 4-3 on aggregate despite beating Real Madrid 3-1 on the night at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Comebacks can be contagious and whatever Barcelona and Roma had on Tuesday, Madrid and Juventus had a serious dose of it 24-hours later. This time the patient survived.

Real Madrid were rattled for 90 minutes but when Lucas Vazqeuz was put through by Toni Kroos and Medhi Benatia put a hand on his back he went down and English referee Michael Oliver pointed to the spot.

Cristiano Ronaldo rips off his shirt and shows off his bulging muscles after sending Real Madrid through in the final minute

Ronaldo celebrates in front of the jubilant Real Madrid supporters as their hopes of a third successive triumph go on

Ronaldo fired a spotkick into the top corner to extinguish Juventus' comeback in the 98th minute of the game on Wednesday

Gianluigi Buffon is awarded a red card by referee Michael Oliver for complaining at the awarding of a stoppage time penalty

Blaise Matuidi bundles home from close range to bring the aggregate scores level at 3-3 on the hour mark on Wednesday

Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas fumbled at the ball and deflected it into the path of the Juventus midfielder

Matuidi celebrates in front of the stunned Real Madrid fans as Juventus grabbed their third goal of the night to draw level

Veteran goalkeeper and Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon roars in celebration after Matuidi's goal for the visitors

Mario Mandzukic powers a header into the back of the net at the near post from Stephan Lichtsteiner's cross to make it 2-0

Mandzukic celebrates after his header shaved the deficit to just one goal shortly before half-time at the Bernabeu

Mario Mandzukic heads beyond the despairing dive of Keylor Navas to hand Juventus a second minute lead at the Bernabeu

Gonzalo Higuain rushes to congratulate his team-mate after grabbing the ball for a quick re-start on Wednesday night

Gonzalo Higuain rushes to congratulate his team-mate after grabbing the ball for a quick re-start on Wednesday night

MATCH FACTS, PLAYER RATINGS AND MATCH ZONE:

Real Madrid: Navas, Carvajal, Varane, Vallejo, Marcelo, Casemiro (Lucas 45), Modric (Kovacic 75), Kroos, Isco, Ronaldo, Bale (Asensio 45)

Subs not used: Casilla, Benzema, Hernandez, Llorente

Booked: Carvajal, Marcelo

Goalscorers: Ronaldo 90+8 

Juventus: Buffon, De Sciglio (Lichtsteiner 17), Benatia, Chiellini, Alex Sandro, Khedira, Pjanic, Matuidi, Douglas Costa, Higuain (Szczesny 90+6), Mandzukic

Subs not used: Cuadrado, Marchisio, Asamoah, Rugani, Sturaro

Goalscorers: Mandzukic 2, 37, Matuidi 60

Booked: Lichtsteiner, Pjanic, Mandzukic, Sandro, Costa, Benatia

Sent off: Buffon

 

Referee: Michael Oliver

Mario Mandzukic heads home in the second minute in front of a stunned Bernabeu crowd. CLICK HERE for more from MATCH ZONE

Gianluigi Buffon protested the decision and was sent off. The Real Madrid supporters had always planned on giving the legendary goalkeeper a big ovation but never in these circumstances. They clapped him off and former Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny came on.

Ronaldo only had eyes for the net behind the keeper and he blasted the ball past the substitute to send Real Madrid into the semi-finals and Juventus out.

Ronaldo said: ‘You have to fight to the finish in football. It was a penalty. I don’t know why they were protesting. Benatia kicked a lot from behind during the game. That is the way he plays. It was the right decision.’

Massimiliano Allegri was not so sure. He lamented: ‘We deserved the extra-time. We had substitutes to bring on. But it’s no good to cry over it.’

Asked if the penalty was fair the Italian coach said: ‘There is no VAR (video assistant referee) so we are out. We absolutely need VAR in the Champions League.’

A jubilant Ronaldo added: ‘It was difficult night but we are through to the semi-finals. We were not great in the first half but this will be a lesson to us.’

The recalled Gareth Bale is denied by Gianluigi Buffon as Real Madrid look to get back into the match after Juve’s early strike

Real Madrid No 1 Keylor Navas is at full stretch to dive and palm the ball away as it is directed goalwards early in the match

Juventus defender Mattia de Sciglio looks to ward off the attentions of Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo by the touchline

Cristiano Ronaldo appeals for a decision from the referee as Juventus forward Douglas Costa claps behind him

Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane slides in and wins the ball from the toes of Juventus winger Douglas Costa

The ball bounces loose from Juventus strike pairing Mario Mandzukic and Gonzalo Higuain as Jesus Vallejo watches on

Gonzalo Higuain has his head in his hands on his return to the Bernabeu as a chance goes begging for the visitors

Juventus midfielder Blaise Matuidi rises highest to head the ball away ahead of opposite number Casemiro in the first-half

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo is sent flying into the air after a challenge from Juventus defender Medhi Benatia

‘Difficult’ does not begin to justify how Juventus made Madrid suffer for their qualification. They had been so rattled at the start of the game that they could have been 3-0 down after seven minutes.

As it was, it was only one. Douglas Costa combined with Sami Khedira and Mario Mandzukic scored at the back post in the second minute.

Gonazalo Higuain then had a shot cut out by Jesus Vallejo and a second effort from close range saved by Keylor Navas.

With Sergio Ramos suspended Madrid had 21-year-old Vallejo and Raphael Varane bumping into each other in the centre of their defence. Juventus were showing the same spirit of Wembley that saw them turn Tottenham over. But could it last?

Gareth Bale had a shot saved by Buffon and he back-heeled the rebound into the side-netting. Isco then had a goal ruled out for offside.

Real Madrid playmaker Isco looks to shield the ball from Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic during the second-leg contest

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo attempts to get a shot off at goal but miscues his effort in a crowded penalty area

Juventus were forced into an early substitution as Stephan Lichtsteiner came on to replace Mattia De Sciglio

Miralem Pjanic gestures towards referee Michael Oliver after Juventus team-mate Stephan Lichtsteiner took a blow

Ronaldo – who had nutmegged Mattia De Sciglio inside the first 30 seconds – tried the same on Benatia and was flattened.

Stephan Lichtsteiner was the next to foul the Portuguese, playing his 150th Champions League game. The substitute had come on for De Sciglio and Ronaldo lost his boot in the clash.

Lichsteiner went into Oliver’s book for his next foul on Ronaldo. He was proving a liability at the back but on 38 minutes he appeared at the other end and made the second goal with a cross to the back post that Mandzukic converted.

Buffon jumped up and down in his area to celebrate and raised a fist to Juventus supporters as he walked off at half time. One more goal and they would be level.

Madrid had almost scored just before the break when Raphael Varane headed on to the bar but Zidane had seen enough and sent Vazquez and Marco Asensio on to replace Casemiro and Gareth Bale.

It did not change the narrative.

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo wanted a penalty after he tumbled over from a challenge by Medhi Benatia

Ronaldo's protestations towards the referee fell on deaf ears as Real Madrid saw their lead reduced to one goal at half-time

Ronaldo had a first-half to forget after his bicycle kick goal last week and even lost his left boot at one point in the first period

On the hour Juventus were level in the tie. Navas failed to gather and Blaise Matuidi turned the ball over the line to complete the incredible comeback.

Again no-one celebrated the goal more than Buffon. He then saved brilliantly from Isco, turning the midfielder’s shot round the post.

Madrid now knew that another Juventus goal would leave them needing two but they camped in Juventus’ half regardless. Ronaldo went down more in hope than expectation of getting any thing from referee Oliver.

Juventus who had spent the first half betraying their tradition by flying forward with abandon had now reverted to type. There seemed no way through until Vazquez tried to wriggle clear and Ronaldo rammed in the resulting spot kick.

Zidane is now two games from the chance to win a third straight Champions League. ‘It was definitely a penalty,’ he said. ‘I didn’t see it but the referee gave it so as far as I’m concerned it was a penalty.’

Asked about Ronaldo’s five-minute wait to take the kick while Juventus players surrounded the referee fuming at Buffon’s dismissal he shrugged: ‘He’s used to it. He scored and we’re through.’

Raphael Varane's header on the stroke of half-time cannons off the crossbar as Real Madrid go in search of a vital goal

Buffon trudges off towards the tunnel after being sent off in what is likely to be his last ever Champions League appearance

SOURCE: dailymail.co.uk


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *