Juventus continued the trend of the Champions League’s last 16 by erasing a first-leg deficit – the irrepressible Cristiano Ronaldo netting a hat-trick to fire them into the quarter-finals at Atletico Madrid’s expense.
The home supporters created a feverous atmosphere inside the Allianz Stadium which had built up to a crescendo by kick-off. And they almost took the roof off it when Ronaldo gave them the lead midway through the first half – the powerful Portuguese rising resplendently to hammer a header past Jan Oblak from the excellent Federico Bernardeschi’s astute cross.
He doubled his side’s lead shortly after the break with another header – Oblak looked initially like he’d made a stunning save, but goal-line technology proved another Ronaldo bullet had crossed the whitewash.
Ronaldo – who else – then wrapped up a scintillating comeback when he fired in his hat-trick goal from the spot after livewire Bernardeschi was clumsily felled in the box. It drew him level with Lionel Messi on eight trebles scored in the competition.
Here’s how we rated the Bianconeri players:
E' FINITA! AMICI, E' FINITA!— JuventusFC (@juventusfc) 12 March 2019
La Juve ha completato la rimonta con una partita STRAORDINARIA! Tripletta di @Cristiano, grandissima prova di squadra e siamo ai quarti!
3️⃣- 0️⃣#UCL pic.twitter.com/9zSi6GUdpC
Wojciech Szczesny – 6: Forgot he was on the pitch. A bystander. Untroubled.
Joao Cancelo – 7: Crunching tackle on Correa showed his appetite for a tie deemed over. Four key passes led Juve.
Leonardo Bonucci – 7: Strong alongside his fellow rock. Led the home side with four clearances. In truth, an easy night’s work.
Giorgio Chiellini – 7: The old warhorse was built for nights like this. Marshaled side well but also tried to affect game further up the pitch.
Leonardo Spinazzola – 7: Up and down the left flank as Juve laid siege. Three key passes in first half alone. A major nuisance.
Emre Can – 6: Kept things ticking over in engine room without over-extending himself or standing out. Team-leading five aerial duels won.
Miralem Pjanic – 6: Showed class and influence on the game early on as he exerted a growing grip. Faded after the break.
Blaise Matuidi – 7: A bustling ball of energy, he ran Atletico ragged in the first half and was always an outlet.
Federico Bernardeschi – 9: Despite Ronaldo’s brilliance, Juve’s best player. At the heart of everything good. Gorgeous cross begged Ronaldo to get on the end of it.
Mario Mandzukic – 5: A strangely subdued performance from the Croatian. One more pass (11) than goalkeeper Szczesny.
Cristiano Ronaldo – 9: Only one Champions League goal this season turned into a record-equaling eighth hat-trick. Two towering headers followed by rifled penalty. Vintage Ronaldo.
Paulo Dybala – 6: What a player to bring on. Darting runs kept Atletico on their toes.
Moise Kean N/A: Rewarded for excellent performance at weekend with outing. Could have wrapped it up when sent clear but dragged shot inches wide.
Know more about Sport360 Application