Cristiano Ronaldo’s 97th-minute penalty against Juventus set many records. It’s eighth Champions League semi-final qualifications on the trot for Real Madrid!
Never count Los Blancos out in Europe, until the final whistle is blown. Especially since they possess a Champions League expert in their squad named Cristiano. The 33-year-old star forward scored twice in Turin in the first leg of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League semis.
His second goal, a spectacular overhead kick, earned him a standing ovation from Juve’s home fans. With Marcelo’s strike, Real Madrid returned to Spain with a 3-0 advantage.
However, following Roma’s unexpected 4-4 aggregate comeback against Barcelona on Tuesday night, supporters of the Old Lady felt it was their turn to stun their Spanish opponents. Mandzukic’s first-half brace and Matuidi’s punishment of Keylor Navas’ blunder impressively leveled the tie.
Tension filled the air at the Santiago Bernabeu…
If Juventus get a terrifying fourth goal, Real Madrid will be forced to dig and score TWICE.
— CRonaldoDaily.com (@BreatheRonaldo) April 11, 2018
Then came the game changer as Real Madrid’s best player on the pitch — Ronaldo, obviously — executed a header in the box to meet Lucas Vazquez. The 26-year-old nearly got on the end of the cross to knock it past the goal line but defender Benatia shoved him. Immediately, the referee awarded a penalty much to the fury of the away team.
Making no mistake, Cristiano snatched his 10th goal against Juventus — a record for the most amount of goals netted by a single player against a single team in the history of the UEFA Champions League. That was also his 15th in the 2017/18 UCL campaign and his 120th in 150 tournament appearances. Ironically, split 50/50 between group stage (60 goals) and knockout stage (60) goals.
“I knew it was a decisive penalty. Thank God, I converted it,” Ronaldo was quoted as saying in the aftermath.
For Juventus, their elimination is a hard one to take. Captain Buffon was sent off for attacking the referee following the latter’s decision to point to the spot.
“I don’t understand why they are protesting. Lucas was hit from behind. Otherwise, he would have scored. Real Madrid is very happy!”
Cristiano is right, you know… (video below)
CLEAR CUT penalty. pic.twitter.com/V8rEFM3TqZ
— Zeus (@KeylorinhoZZ) April 11, 2018
Real Madrid could face Bayern Munich, Liverpool or AS Roma in the semi-finals. The reigning European champions will know their fate on Friday following the Champions League draw.