Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick takes Juventus to Champions league quarters

Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed a hat trick against his favourite victims as Juventus stormed back from a two-goal first-leg deficit to beat Atletico Madrid 3-0 in the return and reach the Champions League quarterfinals on Tuesday.

The Portuguese superstar scored two headers and a late penalty to clinch a place in Friday’s last-eight draw with a dominant display and 3-2 aggregate victory by the Italian champions in Turin.

After scoring the decisive penalty four minutes from time, Ronaldo turned towards the Atletico fans and replicated Simeone’s gesture after the Spaniards’ 2-0 first leg win by grasping his genitals and thrusting out his groin.

He has now scored 25 goals against Atletico in 33 appearances, including four hat-tricks. It was his eighth hat-trick in the Champions League, pulling him level with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi. The Champions League’s record scorer took his tally in the tournament to 124, with four goals this season.

Diego Simeone’s Atletico were a shadow of the team who had run riot in the first leg in Madrid, and crashed out of the tournament they had been hoping to win in their own Wanda Metropolitano Stadium on June 1.

Juventus signed 34-year-old Ronaldo last summer from Real Madrid for 100 million euros ($117 million) in order to make the difference on the continent for the Italian champions, who have not won the Champions League since 1996 and have finished runners-up twice in the past four season.

Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini, making his 500th appearance for the Italian champions, had the ball in the net after four minutes following a goalmouth scramble but it was disallowed for a foul by Ronaldo on goalkeeper Jan Oblak.

The Serie A side bombarded the Atletico area with crosses but made little headway against a packed defence until Federico Bernardeschi switched to the left and floated a cross to the far post where Ronaldo outjumped Juanfran to head in.

With Atletico making little effort to look for the away goal that could have changed the complexion of the tie, Juventus continued to press forward. Bernardeschi curled a free kick over the crossbar and also produced an ambitious bicycle kick which flew wide before Chiellini had a header tipped over by Oblak.

Atletico’s first real chance fell to on-loan striker Alvaro Morata who got between two defenders to meet Koke’s cross from the right only to head over.

Juve went straight back on the attack after the break and quickly levelled the aggregate score at 2-2. Ronaldo met Joao Cancelo’s cross with another powerful header and although Oblak clawed the ball away, goal line technology showed that it had crossed the line by centimetres and the referee signalled a goal.

Atletico brought on Vitolo and Angel Correa in an attempt to add more bite to their attack but to no avail.

With extra-time looming, Bernardeschi powered into the area and was pushed in the back by Correa, leaving Ronaldo to blast home the penalty to the delight of the Juve supporters.

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