Football

Ronaldo heads Juventus into quarterfinals

Top notch: Cristiano Ronaldo ghosts in behind the Atletico defence and rises high to nod home Juventus’s opening goal.

Top notch: Cristiano Ronaldo ghosts in behind the Atletico defence and rises high to nod home Juventus’s opening goal.  

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Rampant Manchester City sweeps past a hapless Schalke

Cristiano Ronaldo made a mockery of Atletico Madrid’s vaunted defence, and then mocked its coach as well.

Ronaldo scored a hat trick against the normally resilient Spanish side to send Juventus into the Champions League quarterfinals with a 3-0 win as the Bianconeri fought back from a two-goal first-leg defeat.

The former Real Madrid player out-jumped Atletico’s defenders to score a header in each half and then converted a late penalty for his first hat-trick since joining Juventus in the summer — and just when it needed it most.

It was Ronaldo’s eighth hat-trick in the Champions League, moving him level with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi. It was the first time Juventus came back from a two-goal defeat in the first leg.

“Maybe that’s why Juventus signed me,” Ronaldo said. “To help it do things that it had never done before. This result is a great push for the future, we’re strong and we showed it.”

However, Ronaldo had only scored one goal in the competition for Juventus until Tuesday.

“It would have been strange if Ronaldo’s Champions League season ended with only one goal,” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said. “Juventus signed him for nights like this and tonight he made the difference.”

For Atletico, it was more heartache in the competition in the year the final is being held in its Wanda Metropolitano Stadium — and more pain caused by Ronaldo. While at Madrid, Ronaldo helped beat Atletico in two Champions League finals.

He has also now scored 25 goals against Atletico in his career.

“He’s the best in the world,” Simeone said. “We suffered, as happened to them in the first leg. They’re through and that’s right. They deserved it ... Maybe I didn’t manage to transmit to my players what we needed.”

Manchester City is also through to the final eight after routing Schalke 7-0 to progress 10-2 on aggregate, with Sergio Aguero’s double paving the way.

Aguero’s penalty opened the scoring and the Argentine forward netted again before Leroy Sane, who also contributed three assists, struck against his former club.

Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus all scored after the interval to complete City’s biggest home win in the Champions League.

Pep Guardiola’s side, which lifted the League Cup in February, remains on course for an unprecedented quadruple, sitting one point ahead of Liverpool at the top of the Premier League before this weekend’s FA Cup quarterfinal at Swansea.

This was the joint-biggest ever knockout stage win but won’t linger long in the memory given Schalke’s total lack of resistance. However it could be a good omen as City beat Schalke en route to winning its only European trophy in the 1970 Cup Winners’ Cup.

The results (round of 16, second leg): Manchester City 7 (Aguero 35-pen, 38, Sane 42, Sterling 56, Bernardo Silva 71, Foden 78, Jesus 84) bt Schalke 04 0. (Manchester City wins 10-2 on aggregate).

Juventus 3 (Ronaldo 27, 48, 86-pen) bt Atletico Madrid 0. (Juventus wins 3-2 on aggregate).

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 8:51:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/ronaldo-heads-juventus-into-quarterfinals/article26524884.ece

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