Ruthless Ronaldo dismantles Juventus
ROME – A sensational Ronaldo bicycle kick saw Madrid run riot against Juventus in Turin with a 3-0 Champions League victory. Ronaldo had opened Madrid’s account, later rounded off by Marcelo before Dybala was shown red on a dreadful night for the Italian side.
Well aware of the daunting challenge ahead, the Serie A leaders found it difficult to get a grip of the game. They were immediately pinned back, conceding possession to the Spanish side as Isco began to dominate in a free role.
Madrid’s threat and Champions League prowess were proven once again. Ronaldo sniped in front of Giorgio Chiellini early on to flick home past a helpless Gianluigi Buffon inside the first three minutes.
Ronaldo has now appeared on the score sheet for a record 10th Champions League game in a row, further silencing his slowly retreating critics of late.
Juventus’ game plan was quickly altered as they came out of the traps, knowing a goal would be crucial for their chances in Spain. Mattia De Sciglio nearly provided that moment; his powerful, low cross sliced tantalisingly wide of the left-hand post, begging for a touch to put it beyond Keylor Navas.
Madrid responded, however, as Toni Kroos smash the cross bar from range as Zinedine Zidane’s side continued to cause problems.
Yet, the night was stolen by a sheer moment of brilliance from Madrid’s Portuguese star. An uncharacteristic mix-up between Chiellini and Buffon allowed the forward to snatch the ball, setting up Lucas Vázquez, whose effort was beaten away by the Italian keeper.
With the opportunity fading, the ball was delivered into the box, met by a soaring Ronaldo, whose extraordinary bicycle kick will go down as one of the great Champions League goals. The utterly brilliant strike was met by a roaring applause from the home Juventus fans as the stadium stood in awe of the magic they had witnessed.
Not long after, Ronaldo was once again involved, exchanging passes with a direct Marcelo who lofted the ball over Buffon to run it into the back of the net as Madrid began to cause havoc.
With the tie quickly slipping away from Juventus, manager Massimiliano Allegri, decided to twist, bringing on Juan Cuadrado. The Colombian went close late on, but ultimately couldn’t provide the lifeline needed, albeit not helped by Paolo Dybala who was shown red, further compounding a depressing situation.
Several opportunities throughout the game may give Juventus a glimmer of hope, but Allegri’s post-match interview revealed a sobering realism, marking the prospect of progression as “almost impossible.” The 3-goal deficit, alongside a suspended Dybala and a trip to the Bernabeu, mean this tie is very much on the brink of being over.