SAN FRANCISCO, March 13, (THEWILL) – Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick, including two headers and a late penalty, as Juventus stormed back from a 2-0 first leg deficit to beat Atletico Madrid 3-0 in the return and reach the Champions League quarter-finals yesterday.
With Atletico packing their defence, Ronaldo made the crucial breakthrough in the 27th minute when he rose to head in Federico Bernardeschi’s cross at the far post.
The 34-year-old levelled the aggregate scores in the last-16 clash three minutes after halftime with another towering header, this time from Joao Cancelo’s cross.
With four minutes left, Bernardeschi powered into the Atletico area, was pushed in the back by Angel Correa and Ronaldo blasted home the penalty.
In the same vein, Manchester City eased into the Champions League quarter-finals with a 7-0 drubbing of Schalke for a resounding 10-2 aggregate victory in the last 16.
City were looking to build on a 3-2 advantage they took from the first leg in Germany, fielding only one fit central defender in Aymeric Laporte.
Any nerves were settled when Aguero opened the scoring 10 minutes from the end of the first half with a chipped panenka penalty, and three minutes he later made it two.
With victory assured, Leroy Sane slotted home a third just before half-time against his former club.
In the second half, Raheem Sterling converted a lovely cross from Sane to make it four after VAR ruled in his favour, with the video assistant regularly invoked to clear up decisions and slow down the game. Bernardo Silva then added a fifth, Ben Foden a sixth, and Gabriel Jesus seven.
City cruised into the next round confidently, and with big teams dropping out they may now count themselves as favourites, despite Pep Guardiola’s protestations.