Real Madrid needed a hero on Tuesday, and Cristiano Ronaldo came to the rescue yet again.
Ronaldo scored a hat trick to help Real Madrid come back from a 2-0 first-leg defeat to post a 3-0 victory on Tuesday that helped secure the Spanish club’s place in the UEFA Champions League semifinals.
Real Madrid joined Manchester City as the first two teams to qualify for the semfinals after Manchester City defeated Paris Saint-Germain, 1-0, to earn a 3-2 aggregate victory in Manchester.
Ronaldo tapped in the first goal of the game in the 15th minute. Moments later, Toni Kroos whipped a corner kick into the box, and the Portuguese star flicked a header past goalkeeper Diego Benaglio to level the game on aggregate.
In the 77th minute, and in typical Ronaldo fashion, the 31-year-old drilled a low free kick around the Wolfsburg wall to net the game-winner. The hat-trick pushes Ronaldo’s goal total in this year’s to 16. Real Madrid has reached the semifinals of the UCL for the sixth consecutive year.
MAN CITY ADVANCES TO SEMIFINALS FOR FIRST TIME
Paris St. Germain’s attack struggled to break down Manchester City’s defense, and Joe Hart stepped up when needed to book City’s first trip to the semifinals in club history.
Holding an away-goals edge after scoring twice in the first leg in Paris, Man City’s defense stayed organized and played well despite the absence of captain Vincent Kompany, as the pairing of Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala kept Zlatan Ibrahimovic under wraps.
City nearly opened the scoring in the first half, but Sergio Aguero’s penalty kick went wide of goal on the home team’s best chance of the early going.
PSG couldn’t capitalize on that reprieve though, as its midfield struggled to generate chances. The absences of Blaise Matuidi, Marco Veratti and Thiago Motta (who left through injury in the first half) forced Laurent Blanc to play with a second-choice central midfield that simply had no answers.
Ibrahimovic did force Joe Hart into some saves at the Etihad Stadium, blasting a free kick on frame on two occasions. In total, the English goalkeeper made four saves, including a key stop on Edinson Cavani in the dying minutes.
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