Cristiano Ronaldo's Hat Trick Lead Juventus to Win vs. Atletico Madrid in UCL

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2019

TURIN, ITALY - MARCH 12:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus celebrates his third goal during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Juventus and Club de Atletico Madrid at Allianz Stadium on March 12, 2019 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)
Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick on Tuesday to fire Juventus to a 3-0 victory over Atletico Madrid at the Allianz Stadium and reach the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

The Bianconeri entered the game needing to overturn a 2-0 deficit from the first leg of the last-16 clash.

Giorgio Chiellini had the ball in the back of the net inside four minutes when he pounced on a loose ball, but the goal was ruled out after Ronaldo was harshly adjudged to have fouled Jan Oblak in the build-up.

The hosts continued to dominate the proceedings and scored again in the 27th minute when Ronaldo rose to head home Federico Bernardeschi's cross.

Ronaldo pulled Juve level with another header three minutes after the break, with goal-line technology showing the ball crossed the line before Oblak clawed it out.

The Portugal international sealed his hat-trick from the spot with four minutes of normal time remaining after Angel Correa was penalised for a push on Bernardeschi.

                     

Ronaldo Makes Juve Champions League Favourites

When Juve splashed out €112 million to sign Ronaldo from Real Madrid last summer, it was clear they were determined to win the Champions League after final defeats in 2015 and 2017.

On Tuesday, his decisive performance showed exactly why they bought him.

The 34-year-old demonstrated he remains a force to be reckoned with on the biggest stage as he beat Diego Godin in the air to score his first:

He did so again for his second:

And he was as cool as ever under pressure for his third:

Ronaldo has now scored 63 goals in the knockout phase of the Champions League, 124 overall, and bagged eight hat-tricks.

Bet365 put his achievements into further context:

Some were left in awe of the superstar, while others have come to expect such brilliance from him in this competition:

With both Madrid teams out of the competition, two of Juve's biggest obstacles to the trophy are gone.

The likes of Barcelona and Manchester City could still pose plenty of problems, but with Ronaldo on their side, it's difficult to see anyone stopping the Bianconeri this season.

                                  

What's Next?

The Bianconeri will advance to the quarter-finals, which will be played on April 9-10 and 16-17 following the draw on March 15. Domestically, Atletico will play Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, while Juve take on Genoa the following day. 

                       

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