Ronaldo’s late penalty knockouts out Juventus takes Madrid to Semi-Finalist
2 weeks ago Admin 0
Cristiano Ronaldo’s injury-time penalty put holders Real Madrid through to the Champions League semi-finals after holding off a stunning Juventus comeback.
Ronaldo’s coolly taken 97th-minute penalty into the top corner came after Medhi Benatia brought down Lucas Vazquez in the box.
Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, in what might be his last Champions League appearance, was sent off by English referee Michael Oliver after awarding the spot-kick, for foul and abusive language.
Real, Champions League winners in three of the past four seasons, came into the second leg leading 3-0, helped by Ronaldo’s stunning bicycle kick.
But the Serie A leaders got off to a dream start when Mario Mandzukic headed in from Sami Khedira’s cross after just two minutes and Mandzukic got a second before half-time, BBC reports.
Blaise Matuidi pounced to capitalise on Keylor Navas’ fumble to level the tie on aggregate before the dramatic ending.
Real join Liverpool, Roma and Bayern Munich in the last-four draw, which takes place in Nyon on Friday at 12:00 BST.
Real have endured a poor season so far in La Liga, sitting fourth in the table and 15 points adrift of runaway leaders Barca, who capitulated on Tuesday night to go out of the Champions League.
The competition is Real’s only hope of a major trophy this season, but they only just managed to sneak through to the last four for the eighth consecutive season.
Ronaldo, the Ballon d’Or holder, proved himself to be the best once again, stepping up under the most intense pressure to send his team through.