NEWS
Tuesday March 12 2019
Ronaldo hat-trick inspires Juve Remuntada

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick, including a late penalty earned by Federico Bernardeschi, to complete the incredible Juventus comeback and beat Atletico Madrid 3-2 on aggregate.

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The Bianconeri had a 2-0 first leg deficit from the first leg in this Round of 16, but both teams had changed considerably since the Wanda Metropolitano. Alex Sandro was suspended, with Mattia De Sciglio, Andrea Barzagli, Sami Khedira, Douglas Costa and Juan Cuadrado injured. Leonardo Spinazzola therefore got his Champions League debut at left-back, with Federico Bernardeschi preferred to Paulo Dybala. Giorgio Chiellini marked his 500th appearance in a Juve jersey. Atleti had Diego Costa and Thomas Partey banned, with Filipe Luis and Lucas Hernandez injured. Diego Godin shook off a knock to start.

The Curva Sud suspended their protest against the club for rising ticket prices and unveiled a banner in support of Max Allegri, as well as singing throughout.

Giorgio Chiellini had the ball in the net after four minutes when Jan Oblak fumbled a corner, but VAR confirmed the initial refereeing decision to disallow for Cristiano Ronaldo kicking the ball out of the goalkeeper’s hands.

Juve had crushing domination of possession and pinned Atleti back, but Koke fired over from distance and Wojciech Szczesny had his gloves stung by Antoine Griezmann, although Alvaro Morata was offside and interfering with play, so it wouldn’t have counted anyway.

The pressure finally paid off on 27 minutes, when Bernardeschi whipped a cross from the left and Cristiano Ronaldo out-jumped Juanfran at the back post to nod in. It was only his second Champions League goal in a Juventus jersey.

Bernardeschi curled a free kick over the bar, then attempted an audacious bicycle-kick that wasn’t far off target. Spinazzola’s cross found Ronaldo for almost a repeat of the goal, but this time the towering header was wide.

Chiellini’s header from a Miralem Pjanic corner was fingertipped out from under the bar by Oblak, but on the stroke of half-time, Morata peeled away from Leonardo Bonucci for a header over.

Mandzukic ended the half limping, but straight after the restart Gimenez got the crucial header to stop him meeting a dinked Ronaldo pass.

It was only a warning, as Juventus did score and draw level on aggregate with yet another Ronaldo header, this one more glancing on a Joao Cancelo cross. Oblak had clawed it away, but goal-line technology confirmed that was only after it had gone in.

Juventus still needed another and threw on Paulo Dybala for the very impressive debutant Spinazzola. Mandzukic couldn’t get a clean diving header to Pjanic’s free kick and still wasn’t moving comfortably, so teenage hitman Moise Kean came on for the final 10 minutes of normal time and almost scored within 120 seconds. He was sent clear on goal with a ball over the top, but the defender came charging back and he prodded inches wide of the far post.

Moments later, Bernardeschi sprinted forward and cut inside, with Correa just clipping his heel as he ran into the box. Ronaldo converted the penalty for his hat-trick, his third career treble against Atletico Madrid, which put Juventus 3-2 up on aggregate.

Juventus 3-0 Atletico Madrid (3-2 agg)

Ronaldo 27, 49, pen 86 (J)

Juventus: Szczesny; Cancelo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Spinazzola (Dybala 67); Can, Pjanic, Matuidi; Bernardeschi, Mandzukic (Kean 80); Ronaldo

Atletico Madrid: Oblak; Arias (Vitolo 77), Gimenez, Godin, Juanfran; Koke, Rodrigo, Saul, Lemar (Correa 56); Griezmann; Morata

Ref: Kuipers (NED)

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