Cristiano Ronaldo Last minute Penalty Sent Real Madrid To UEFA Champions League Semi-Final.
Juventus made a dramatic start to the game as Mario Mandzukic headed home inside two minutes to pull a goal back from their 3-0 first-leg deficit. The Serie A outfit came close to making it two moments later but Gonzalo Higuain was denied by the legs of Keylor Navas. Isco, making a rare start for the club, thought he had equalized on the night but his effort from an acute angle was correctly ruled out for offside.
The Croatian forward gave the Bianconeri hope with two great headers in the first half.
Madrid won the first leg 3-0 in Turin, with Ronaldo scoring with a spectacular bicycle kick for his second goal of the match. Madrid can still reach the semifinals for the eighth straight year even if they lose Wednesday’s game by two goals or fewer.
The Champions League winners in three of the past four seasons, were stunned by the brilliant display of the Serie A leaders before the dramatic ending which led to the Veteran Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, in what was likely his last Champions League game, being sent off for furiously complaining at the referee after the penalty decision. The Madrid crowd at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium gave Buffon a standing ovation as he left the field.
Ronaldo’s at 97th-minute netted his 120th goals in the competition on his 150th champions league appearance by converting the penalty with a straight shot into the top corner after Medhi Benatia brought down Lucas Vazquez in the box.
He celebrated by taking off his shirt and running toward the euphoric Madrid crowd and he was booked for taking off his shirt while celebrating in front of the home supporters.
“It was a match in which we suffered,” Ronaldo said. “It shows that nothing is a given in football, you have to fight until the end. We didn’t play well, we have to admit. But in the end we deserved to advance.”
Ronaldo, the Ballon d’Or holder, step forward to shot Real Madrid into the semifinal proving himself to be the best once again, stepping up under the most intense pressure to send his team through.
- Ronaldo has scored 21 goals in his last 11 matches in all competitions, and
- has netted in 11 straight Champions League matches.
- Takes his tally to 27 in his past 14 games for club and country
- 41 strikes overall in 38 games this season
- 120th goal in 150 Champions League appearances.
It was a very sad ending, especially with the Buffon sending-off. The added-time penalty was a terrible blow but I’m sure they will be back to compete at the very highest level next season with this spirit. The (almost) perfect game was not enough for them.
“Life goes on,” Buffon said. “I’m happy and proud of how we played, we made the impossible possible. It’s a shame it ends like this.”
Buffon had announced in October that this would be his last Champions League campaign unless his side won the final, after which he had intended to play in the Club World Cup.
The Bernabéu rose as one to applaud both teams off. What a game!