- Cristiano Ronaldo played hero once again for Real Madrid, sending home a penalty kick in the final seconds of regular time to put Real through to the Champions League semifinals.
- The goal came after Real had lost a commanding 3-0 aggregate lead to Juventus in front of their home crowd, and were facing down an embarrassing exit from Champions League.
- Instead, Real is moving forward to its eighth consecutive Champions League semifinal, with a shot at winning their third straight title.
Cristiano Ronaldo has done it again.
While his goal in the second leg of Real Madrid’s Champions League quarterfinals matchup against Juventus wasn’t as impressive as his bicycle kick golazo in the first leg, it proved just as dramatic.
Coming into the game, many expected an uneventful game – Real Madrid had already taken the first leg of the competition 3-0 at Juventus, setting themselves up for an easy 90 minutes between them and their record eighth consecutive Champions League semifinal.
But Juventus refused to go down easy. Mario Mandzukic scored once in the opening minutes of the match, and again before the end of the first half. When Blaise Matuidi netted another in the 60th minute to give Juventus a 3-0 lead in the match and tie the aggregate at 3-3, Real looked simply awestruck.
That score would hold until the final seconds of regulation. With the match almost certainly heading into extra time, Real would make one final push towards the net. Cristiano Ronaldo sent a perfectly placed header towards the center of the box, and Juventus defenders brought down his target, Lucas Vazquez, drawing the ire of the official and giving Real a penalty shot to end the match.
The call immediately sent Juventus to fits of rage – after coming back from three goals down on the road, one kick from Ronaldo could wipe away all of their effort. After exchanging harsh words with the official, keeper Gianluigi Buffon was sent off with a red card, leaving Wojciech Szczesny to come in cold and face down the greatest scorer in Champions League history with the game on the line.
As expected, Ronaldo buried it.
Real would hold through the final seconds to move on to the semifinal on aggregate 4-3, continuing their journey for their third consecutive Champions League title, despite Juventus’ heroic efforts.