Real Madrid booked a record seventh consecutive appearance to the UEFA Champions League semifinals after a 6-3 aggregate victory over 10-man Bayern Munich, with Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick helping Real Madrid get past the Bundesliga leaders, despite needing extra-time to do so.
After missing the first leg due to injury, Robert Lewandowski returned for Carlo Ancelotti’s side who needed a spark offensively, following scoreless league draw this past weekend. Gareth Bale was out for Real Madrid, after picking up a leg injury in the first leg.
Following a scoreless opening half, Bayern made it 2-2 on aggregate after Lewandowski scored from the penalty spot. Arjen Robben drew the spot kick after being bundled over by Real Madrid defender Casemiro. The Brazilian was also lucky to not see a second yellow for the challenge.
Ronaldo re-extended Real Madrid’s aggregate advantage to 3-2 in the 76th-minute, heading home Casemiro’s cross. It was the forward’s 101st career European goal. However, the lead only lasted a minute as a Sergio Ramos own-goal gave the Germans another lifeline.
Bayern were reduced to 10-men in the 84th-minute, as Arturo Vidal was shown a questionable second yellow card. The Chilean became the second Bayern player sent off in this quarterfinal round after Javi Martinez’s dismissal in last week’s first leg. Shortly thereafter, Bayern’s Manuel Neuer was forced into another good save, this time repelling Marco Asensio’s 98th-minute effort. Ronaldo’s second goal of the match, proved to flip the momentum Real Madrid’s way, as the forward slammed home his left-footed effort past Neuer. Ramos made up for his earlier mistake, finding Ronaldo wide-open with a cross for the goal.
Ronaldo’s tapped home this third of the match in the 110th-minute, after a great run by Marcelo, allowed the hosts a two-on-one breakaway. Asensio added some insurance two minutes later, beating Neuer to his far post.
A couple of referring decisions easily could have changed the outcome of this tie, but regardless Los Blancos advance to the semifinals with their Madrid rivals. This is the third time in the past six seasons that Bayern Munich have been eliminated by Real Madrid, and now will turn their attention back to the Bundesliga race.
SAUL HEADER LIFTS ATLETICO MADRID PAST LEICESTER
A first-half header from midfielder Saul Niguez proved to be the difference, as last season’s runners-up Atletico Madrid eliminated Leicester City on a 2-1 aggregate score.
Following a hard-earned 1-0 first leg victory at the Vicente Calderon, Atletico Madrid knew a tougher atmosphere would await them at the King Power on Tuesday evening. Saul’s 26th-minute header gave Diego Simeone’s side a 1-0 lead in the first half, and the midfielder came close to doubling his tally after the restart, forcing a good save from Kasper Schmeichel.
Riyad Mahrez’s right-footed volley was Leicester’s best chance towards goal in the opening 45 minutes, but it was Jamie Vardy’s 61st-minute finish that brought Leicester to within one on aggregate, finishing from the top of the Atletico box. Vardy and Leonardo Ulloa forced good saves from Jan Oblak later in the half, but could not beat the Slovenian international.
Marc Albrighton’s last-minute effort forced a late corner opportunity from Leicester, but the Foxes were unable to net a late goal. Oblak made five saves in the victory, which sees Atletico Madrid reach the semifinals for the second time in the past three seasons. Despite being eliminated, Leicester City will surely be proud of the run they made in their first ever Champions League appearance.
The UEFA Champions League Quarterfinal second legs conclude on Wednesday with Barcelona hosting Juventus, looking to overturn a 3-0 aggregate deficit (2:45 P.M. E.S.T., Fox Sports 1). Elsewhere at the Stade Louis II, Monaco return home leading 3-2 on aggregate to face off with Borussia Dortmund (2:45 P.M., Fox Sports 2).