Champions League: Ronaldo fires Real into semis


Sports, Football

The holders will be in Friday’s semi-final draw for a record seventh consecutive year.

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo (left) scores past Douglas Costa in their Champions League quarter-final second leg match against Bayern Munich on Tuesday. Real Madrid won 6-3 on aggregate. (Photo: AP)

Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick to become the first man to reach 100 Champions League goals as Real Madrid overcame 10-man Bayern Munich 4-2 after extra time in Tuesday’s quarter-final second leg to advance 6-3 on aggregate.

The holders will be in Friday’s semi-final draw for a record seventh consecutive year.

But they were pushed all the way by Bayern, who overcame a 2-1 first-leg deficit to send the tie into extra time thanks to Robert Lewandowski’s penalty and an own goal from Sergio Ramos.

However, after Arturo Vidal was sent off, Ronaldo hit the century mark in Europe’s top club competition on 105 minutes before then completing his hat-trick. And Marco Asensio gave a night of high-class action the finale it deserved with a sensational solo goal to rub salt in Bayern wounds.

The German champions had been beaten on their previous four trips to Spain without even scoring a goal.

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However, knowing they needed at least two to progress, Carlo Ancelotti’s men started on the front foot and were left to rue a huge opportunity just eight minutes in.

Much like the first leg six days ago though, Madrid weathered the early storm and had plenty of chances to go in front before half-time.

‘Don’t boo me’
Madrid were once again grateful to Ronaldo’s killer touch as the four-time World Player of the Year was pivotal in both legs against Bayern.

And he once again rounded on his critics after a restless Bernabeu crowd got on his back for an error-strewn first-half display.

“The only thing I ask is that they don’t boo me because I give my best in every game,” Ronaldo told Spanish TV station Antena 3. “Although I don’t always score, I always work hard and try to help Real Madrid. To score six goals against a team like Bayern Munich isn’t easy, so we deserved to go through,” added Ronaldo. “Maybe they will not whistle him any more,” said coach Zinedine Zidane in defence of his star man.

‘Time for video refs’
Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti said Uefa must swiftly introduce video technology.

Among Ronaldo’s three goals, the Portuguese’s second and third goals were offside, whilst visitors Bayern had Arturo Vidal sent off five minutes from the end of normal time.

“I think we deserved more,” fumed Ancelotti. “There are decisions that have penalised us a lot. The (red) card for Arturo wasn’t a card and then the two goals from Cristiano are offside so clearly we are not happy.”