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Champions League quarters

Ronaldo hat-trick sends Juventus past Atletico

13 Mar 2019, 11:17 ( 2 Months ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
Juventus's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League round 16 second leg match between Juventus and Atletico Madrid in Turin, Italy, Mar.12, 2018. Photo Xinhua/Alberto Lingria.

Juventus completed a marvelous comeback in the Champions League round of 16 second leg as the Serie A giants enjoyed a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Atletico Madrid with Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick, eliminating the Spanish side 3-2 on aggregate here on Tuesday.

   Juventus were 2-0 down after the first leg that left their Champions League hopes hanging by a thread. The Bianconeri surged into 2-0 after 50 minutes, and Ronaldo sealed the game with a penalty earned by Federico Bernardeschi.

   With left-back Alex Sandro suspended, Leonardo Spinazzola moved in, and Massimiliano Allegri opted for Joao Cancelo with a more advanced role. Bernardeschi was started in a three-forward line spearheaded by Ronaldo.

   The home side poured forward from the very beginning, Giorgio Chiellini had the ball in the net just four minutes into the game but was disallowed after the referee viewed the VAR.

   Juventus dominated the game and broke the deadlock in the 27th minute as Bernardeschi swung in a cross and Ronaldo out-jumped Juanfran to steer his header into the net.

   Juventus continued pinning Atletico Madrid back as Chiellini's header was parried away by Jan Oblak after Bernardeschi's stunning bicycle-kick over the bar.

   Juventus drew level on aggregate just four minutes after the break. Ronaldo raised between Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez to meet Cancelo's cross before Oblak clawed it out after the ball actually went in.

   Allegri then made tactic change by hauling off Spinazzola and Mandzukic and throwing on Paulo Dybala and Moise Kean.

   Kean missed a good opportunity when he was sent clear but only saw his attempt wide of the far post.

   The game culminated on 86th minute when Bernardeschi burst into the box and was tripped down by Angel Correa, Ronaldo kept his cool and converted the penalty for his hat-trick, sending Oblak wrong-footed.