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The Ronaldo Citadel stands tall at Champions League

Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat trick fired Juventus into the quarterfinals of Champions League by defeating Atletico Madrid

RC
Last updated: 13.03.2019
Cristiano Ronaldo scored another hat trick in Champions League

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Last month in Madrid, when Atletico Madrid outclassed a much stronger Juventus side with a 2-0  victory, many had pointed fingers at one man- Cristiano Ronaldo. But on Wednesday, the Old Lady of Turin and its modern day superstar gave a befitting reply to their critics. Juventus dominated Atletico Madrid and won 3-0 to advance to the quarter-final.

It was a classic two-legged European tie, where home advantage overpowered the away team in a hostile zone. In the end, the Italian giants emerged victorious courtesy of their Champions League specialist. Ronaldo’s performance was exactly why Juventus had invested a whopping 100 million euros in him.

Ronaldo has become an embodiment of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. In domestic leagues, the Portuguese play at an even tempo and normally gets satisfied with a goal or two. But at UCL, his evil personality takes over and the thirst for goals becomes evident.

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Something similar happened at Turin. It felt as if a beast has been unleashed by Juventus against Atletico. Fans were witnessing the classic Ronaldo at home. Scoring from headers and completing the hat trick with a penalty is a rare occasion for his fans now but his performance will become folklore of this generation.

It felt almost inexorable that if Juventus makes a comeback, Ronaldo would have his name on the scoresheet. Astoundingly, the past four hat tricks scored against Atletico Madrid have been scored by him.

Moreover, it is not the first time CR7 has been in his evil Mr Hyde form. The Juventus forward has scored in three finals out of four. And although he did not score in the 2018 final against Liverpool, he was the ship on which the Real Madrid side was sailing on to reach the final. Ronald was the highest goal scorer of the tournament with 15 goals.

Against Atletico, the tactic was simple, move to the side put the ball in the box and Ronaldo will be there to make the ends meet.

Max Allegri also deserves the credit for the tactical masterclass that he showed. Against a predictable and dull Madrid’s 4-4-2 formation Juventus played smart and classic football.

Although, on paper, they appeared in a 4-3-3 formation which was the case during the kick off as well. But two minutes into the game Joao Cancelo came higher up the pitch to make it 3-4-3.

The distribution of the ball was inch perfect. It was the contemporary Italian football on show. Chiellini’s long balls, Federico Bernardeschi’s cutting inside, and Ronaldo’s continuous runs is what Italian football stands for. The lost art was resurrected from its grave by the Old Lady of Turin. The result of it was, whenever there was a cross inside the box, Ronaldo took a leap. The determination to cross from wide for the Portuguese was summed up by their opener. Bernadeschi’s delivered the ball from a position which is normally not considered as a crossing angle and the fans witnessed Ronaldo’s coveted air time jump before heading the ball past Jan Oblak.

This was the story all night. To summarise the events at Turin, it was another Ronaldo hat trick, the 52nd of his career, Ronaldo’s dominance in Champions League and classic Italian football masterclass by Juventus and Max Allegri.

Ronaldo if manages to win the UCL trophy, would become the second player after the legendary Clarence Seedorf to win it with three sides. For now, the Ronaldo citadel stands strong and looks forward to thrashing his next opponent at the quarterfinals.

 

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