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Ronaldo magic fires Real past 10-man Juventus

Update: April, 04/2018 - 10:00
Ronaldo rises in sensational fashion to double Real’s lead. -- AFP Photo
Viet Nam News

TURIN, Italy — Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to score in 10 successive Champions League games as he struck twice for holders Real Madrid in a 3-0 win at Juventus in Tuesday’s quarter-final first leg.

Ronaldo grabbed the opening goal in Turin after just three minutes and added a second on the hour with a sensational overhead bicycle kick, taking him to 14 goals in this season’s competition.

Juventus forward Paulo Dybala was sent off on 66 minutes before Ronaldo set up Marcelo to cap the rout and leave Real in complete control of the tie going into the second leg in Madrid on April 11.

The 33-year-old Portugal star had shared the previous goalscoring record with former Manchester United team-mate Ruud van Nistelrooy, who found the net in nine consecutive matches between 2002 and 2003.

"You can say he’s one of the most beautiful players in the history of football," said Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane.

"It’s not easy to get three goals past Juve on their own pitch. But in the end it was teamwork, you have to work as a team to get this result."

"Of course Juventus aren’t happy with the result tonight, but I will always have Juve in my heart," added Zidane, who spent five seasons at the Italian club as a player.

"This 3-0 is really hard to digest," said Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri, who has guided the club to the final twice in the past three seasons.

"In my opinion, from Cardiff (last year’s final defeat) to today we have even improved.

"There is absolutely nothing to hold against the lads. We faced an extraordinary team with probably the best player in the world. Now we have to raise our heads, think about the future and the championship."

Zidane opted for the same line-up as last year’s final when the Spaniards crushed Juventus 4-1 to claim a record 12th European title, with Isco preferred to Gareth Bale.

Some dreadful defending from Juventus early gave Isco the space on the left flank to supply Ronaldo for the opener, with goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon helpless to stop the Portuguese’s expert flick.

Mattia De Sciglio sent a shot flashing across goal on 34 minutes that just evaded the sliding Gonzalo Higuain, who was then denied by a stunning reflex save from Keylor Navas after getting on the end of a Dybala free-kick.

Real looked set to score again when Toni Kroos latched onto a loose ball, his blistering long-range effort rattling the crossbar.

The Spanish giants will be without captain Ramos next week after the centre-back was booked for a foul on Dybala, whose resulting free-kick was deflected just wide. — AFP

 

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