May 23, 2018, 20:06

Even the Juve fans applauded Ronaldo’s second goal as Real all but cement semi-final spot

Even the Juve fans applauded Ronaldo’s second goal as Real all but cement semi-final spot

Real Madrid have ended up as 3-0 winners at Juventus in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s spectacular bicycle kick to put Real 2-0 up all but secured their semi-final place.

The Portugal striker, having already stabbed his side in front after only three minutes, produced one of the best goals of his prolific career by leaping to convert a 64th-minute Dani Carvajal cross from the right in acrobatic fashion.

Ronaldo’s double in Turin means he has scored in a record 10th consecutive Champions League match.

And it sparked a wave of appreciation from the home fans.

Marcelo scored the third in the 72nd minute, six minutes after Juventus’ Paulo Dybala was sent off for two yellow cards.

Just three minutes into the game, Marcelo fed Isco down the left channel and the midfielder’s cutback into the penalty area fell right to Ronaldo, who fired his 13th Champions League goal of the season past Gianluigi Buffon.

The Italians, who finished runners-up to Real Madrid in last season’s European final in Cardiff, slowly started to regroup.

Only a brilliant reaction save from Keylor Navas prevented Juve from equalising in the 23rd minute.

Dybala floated a free-kick into the Real Madrid penalty area, where Gonzalo Higuain connected with the ball full-on inside the six-yard box, only for Navas to throw out an arm and deflect it away.

The Bianconeri went close again as Dybala just failed to get on the end of a ball across from defender Mattia De Sciglio.

Real, though, almost doubled their lead in the 35th minute when a 20-yard effort from German midfielder Toni Kroos crashed against the crossbar with Buffon beaten.

At the other end, Juve defender Giorgio Chiellini headed wide from a corner, before Rodrigo Bentancur fired over after a counter-attack.

Juve appealed for a penalty when Chiellini’s flick-on knocked Casemiro on the arm as he jumped, but the Turkish referee was not interested.

Real Madrid almost went further ahead at the start of the second half.

Karim Benzema did well to barge into the right side of the penalty area before the lose ball fell to Ronaldo, whose drive from the tightest of angles was only just wide of the far post.

In the 54th minute, Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos picked up a yellow card for bundling over Dybala just outside the penalty area, which will rule the defender out of the second leg through suspension.

The free-kick from Dybala deflected off the wall and dropped just wide of the top-left corner, with Navas wrong-footed.

Ronaldo eventually doubled Real’s lead with a goal of the highest quality.

A mix-up between Chiellini and Buffon saw substitute Lucas Vazquez denied by a flying recovery save from the goalkeeper.

Buffon, though, could only stand and watch as Dani Carvajal floated a cross in from the right which Ronaldo, with his back to goal, dispatched into the top corner with a perfectly-executed overhead kick.

The calibre of the finish left Los Blacos coach Zinedine Zidane shaking his head in disbelief, while the Juve fans applauded in stunned admiration.

In the 66th minute, Dybala, who had been booked for diving at the end of the first half, was sent off for a second caution when clattering into Carvajal with a high boot.

Marcelo bundled in a third goal in the 72 minute after a one-two with Ronaldo.

Substitute Mateo Kovacic hit the bar before Ronaldo saw a shot saved and then fired over as Real Madrid all but secured their place in the semi-finals.


Sourse: breakingnews.ie

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