Cristiano Ronaldo has again shown why he is the man of the moment. His three goals against city rivals, Atletico Madrid has put Real Madrid at the brink of the final match of the UEFA Champions League after a 3-0 defeat of city rivals.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s rich goal scoring form continued as he took his tally to eight in three UEFA Champions League outings as holders Real Madrid took a giant stride towards this season’s Cardiff final.
Ronaldo headed in Casemiro’s cross on ten minutes and for a while it looked like the hosts would have to settle for that despite their dominance. But the Portuguese earned breathing space as he lashed in 17 minutes from time, then all but ended Atlético’s ambitions.
It was, perhaps, just what the Madrid’s dominance merited. With Karim Benzema initially in the thick of things, Zinédine Zidane’s men dominated throughout against an unusually disjointed Atletico, who were grateful for the alertness of Jan Oblak.
Damage limitation seemed the order of the day but Ronaldo’s late salvo means Diego Simeone’s team need a minor miracle at the Calderón next Wednesday. No team has ever recovered a two-goal first-leg deficit in a UEFA Champions League semi-final – let alone three.