IN PICS: Ronaldo hits hat-trick, Real and Atletico reach semis

Sport360 staff 19/04/2017

Real Madrid battled back to stun Bayern Munich and book passage to a seventh straight semi-final with a contentious 4-2 win after extra time in the second leg in Madrid thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick.

Bayern, needing to score at least twice to have any chance of going through, set about attacking Madrid from the outset, putting the home defence under plenty of pressure in the first half, although it was only after the break that they found the back of the net.

Arjen Robben went down under Casemiro's challenge in the box, a moment that saw the already-booked Madrid midfielder fortuitously avoid a second yellow. It was the first of several key decisions to go Madrid's way.

Robert Lewandowski's penalty levelled the tie on aggregate, although Madrid were still going through on away goals.

Their progress seemed confirmed when they withstood the Bayern pressure before hitting back to find an equaliser, Ronaldo steering a header past Manuel Neuer from Casemiro's cross to put Madrid back ahead on aggregate. But that was simply a prelude for what was to come.

Sergio Ramos, no stranger to dramatic late goals, was credited with one in his own net this time to draw Bayern level. It was a scrappy goal, but it put the tie on a knife's edge, with the score 3-3 on aggregate and both sides having tallied two away goals.

There was more drama to come as Arturo Vidal was sent off for a second yellow card, for a challenge that looked like a perfectly good tackle.

Despite going down to ten men, Bayern Munich looked the likelier team to score a goal for the remainder of normal time, but they couldn't get the winner.

Madrid began to assert themselves again in extra time, and with the man advantage, it was only a matter of time before they exploited tiring Bayern legs to go ahead. The pivotal goal was again controversial as Ronaldo was clearly offside when he received the ball, before expertly lashing a finish past Neuer.

The home side put the tie to bed in the second half of extra time, with Ronaldo completing his hat-trick after an excellent run from Marcelo and Marco Asensio adding gloss to the scoreline with a mazy run and exquisite finish.

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid have advanced to their third Champions League semi-final in four years after getting a 1-1 away draw against Leicester City to win 2-1 on aggregate.

Saul's first-half goal meant Leicester needed to score three on the night to progress, and although Jamie Vardy got one, ultimately the Atletico defence was too strong.

The Foxes were dominant after Vardy's goal and came close to getting a second to set up a grandstand finish, but the defending Premier League champions' Champions League fairy tale is at an end.

MOMENT OF THE NIGHT

While the Real Madrid-Bayern Munich game had all the thrilling moments, as well as plenty of controversial ones, Jamie Vardy's goal at the King Power Stadium gets the nod here. For a brief, euphoric moment, it seemed Leicester City might just be capable of one more miracle.

BEST GOAL

It came when the tie was all but beyond doubt, but Marco Asensio's interception, run, and finish confirmed what a talent the 21-year-old is.

BEST TWEET

The Bundesliga and Bayern Munich accounts have their say on Munich's second goal...

BEST STAT

Cometh the hour, cometh the man...and tonight, cometh a century. What a career Cristiano Ronaldo's had.

PLAYER OF THE NIGHT

That man Ronaldo. Every time the whispers get louder about the Portuguese star's powers being on the wane, Ronaldo delivers the perfect riposte. A hat-trick against Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals to bring up 100 Champions League goals - who writes this man's scripts?

Most popular

Related Sections

Where Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich will be won and lost

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Who will celebrate the win?

A 2-1 win at the Allianz Arena last week gave Real Madrid the edge, with Bayern Munich now needing to score at least twice to get anything out of the tie at the Bernabeu.

It sets up an enthralling second-leg to this quarter-final and here, we look at what each side needs to do in order to win the match and advance to the semi-finals.

Let’s start with the home side…

HELP MARCELO

Bayern’s clear strategy in the first-half was to feed Arjen Robben as much as possible, attempting to isolate him one-on-one against Marcelo.

The Brazilian is often left unsupported by his teammates, especially when Cristiano Ronaldo plays wide left in a 4-3-3, and Zinedine Zidane must give someone responsibility to track back.

GET THE RIGHT BALANCE

Scoring goals is never a problem for Real Madrid, who have registered at least one in every single game since their goalless draw at Man City in last season’s semi-final first leg.

But against a team with Bayern’s firepower they cannot make scoring their only aim, and striking the right balance between defence and attack will be crucial.

As for Bayern Munich…

STOP SERGIO RAMOS

Bayern only still have a chance in this tie thanks to a linesman’s raised flag in stoppage time last week, correctly cancelling out a Sergio Ramos set-piece header for offside.

That narrow escape must be a serious warning for Bayern, who cannot afford to ignore the attacking threat posed by Madrid’s captain from dead-ball situations.

FEED LEWANDOWSKI

Robert Lewandowski has enjoyed outstanding success against Real in the past, scoring a hat-trick in Dortmund’s 4-1 thrashing of the Spanish giants four years ago.

Bayern badly missed their injured leading scorer last week, but now he’s back and they must make the very most of his firepower by giving him plenty of ammunition.

Most popular

Related Sections

COMMENT: Dybala not 'The New Messi' but a star in his own right

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

‘The New Messi’ – The feared label seems to plague every promising left-footed forward and Paulo Dybala tops that extensive list at the moment.

It’s a term he’s openly denounced in the past and has done so again in the aftermath of a scintillating performance that helped Juventus sink Lionel Messi’s Barcelona on Tuesday night.

“I understand the comparisons and expectations on me but I do not want to be the new Messi or the Messi of the future.”

The 23-year-old can distance himself from the unwanted tag all he wants but it will always rear its ugly head, especially when he insists on playing the way he did in the 3-0 Champions League quarter-final victory.

The comparisons with Messi aren’t completely unjustified. After all, they’re both Argentinian, left-footed and ridiculously gifted players. But Dybala is his own player, relying more on his velvet touch, clinical finishing and intelligence.


Given Juventus’ triumph, the appealing narrative is that Messi’s eventual decline (which is still years away one would suspect) gives way to Dybala’s rise to prominence. But the five-time Ballon d’Or winner was not played off the park on Tuesday and neither were Barcelona.

In fact, the Catalans did have moments to reduce the deficit and Messi was at the heart of it. At 1-0, he produced a through ball that cut straight through Juventus’ midfield and defensive lines only for Gianluigi Buffon to produce a brilliant save to deny Andres Iniesta.

While some may misconstrue Dybala’s dominating display against Barcelona as further evidence that he is indeed The New Messi, it should instead point to a coming of age for the Juventus ace, the night he established himself as a truly world class player and one we can expect to be thrilled by for years to come.


The Ballon d’Or has been won by either Cristiano Ronaldo or Messi for the last nine years (Messi winning five times and Ronaldo four) with Kaka being the last recipient apart from that twosome, back in 2007.

The iconic rivalry between two of the best players to ever grace a football pitch has defined the modern era of the game with the third nominee acting as little more than a prop for photo ops.

But all good things must come to an end and so must this phenomenal duopoly over the most prestigious individual prize in football.

Boasting an exceptional record at club and international level, Neymar has already staked his claim to call one of those golden globes his own one day as has Antoine Griezmann but in Dybala they will encounter a fierce competitor.

The Argentine signed for Palermo in 2012 and after proving his mettle at the Serie A side, it was club President Maurizio Zamparini who first declared: “He’s the new Leo Messi!”

In Turin, Dybala has grown into an outstanding performer, scoring 23 times last season and already notching up 16 so far in this campaign.

He’s regularly shown flashes of brilliance but his two clever finishes on Tuesday, on such a big stage against top class opposition showed the pedigree of a supreme talent eager to assume more responsibility and take over the mantle as the team’s talisman.

While he is not a direct replacement for 29-year-old Messi, when the Barcelona legend eventually rides off into the sunset, Dybala will be a front-runner to assume the throne in Argentinian football.

Most popular

Related Tags