Champions League

Ronaldo hat-trick downs Wolfsburg

2016-04-12 23:06
Cristiano Ronaldo (AFP)

Madrid - Cristiano Ronaldo inspired Real Madrid to a record sixth successive Champions League semi-final with a hat-trick as the Spanish giants overturned a 2-0 first leg deficit to beat Wolfsburg 3-0 on Tuesday.

Ronaldo struck twice in just over a minute to bring Madrid level in the tie inside 17 minutes.

Yet, the 10-time winners were forced to wait until 13 minutes from time to find the winner when Ronaldo's dipping free-kick escaped the clutches of Diego Benaglio to find the bottom corner.

Madrid hadn't overturned a first leg deficit in the Champions League in eight attempts stretching back 14 years to when coach Zinedine Zidane played for Los Blancos in a quarter-final win over Bayern Munich.

However, they roared back into the tie and were level as Ronaldo struck twice in 86 seconds.

Dani Carvajal replaced the much-criticised Danilo in Madrid's only change from the first leg at right-back and the Spanish international's deflected cross fell perfectly for Ronaldo to tap home the opener at the back post.

The two nearly combined for the second straight from the restart as another dangerous Carvajal effort was just cut out before Ronaldo could head home.

However, there was no stopping the three-time World Player of the Year from the resulting corner as his downward header found the bottom corner for his 15th Champions League goal of the season.

Wolfsburg's disastrous start was compounded when star midfielder Julian Draxler limped off injured to be replaced by Max Kruse just after the half hour mark.

Yet, the Germans still managed to grow into the game as the opening 45 minutes wore on.

Luis Gustavo's fierce long-range effort forced Keylor Navas into a decent save before Bruno Henrique squandered a huge chance to net the vital away goal as he hesitated in getting his shot off and Marcelo got back to block the ball behind.

Madrid started on the front foot again at the start of the second-half as Ronaldo saw a free-kick deflected wide before Benaglio was forced into a save to prevent Joshua Guilavogui turning a cross into his own net.

The hosts were convinced they had gone ahead for the first time in the tie when Sergio Ramos's header came off the inside of the post and rolled along the goal line, but Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai adjudged the ball hadn't crossed the line.

Wolfsburg continued to pose the threat of an away goal as Vieirinha fired wide before Dante's downward header was held by Navas.

However, Ronaldo finally struck the decisive blow when his free-kick from 25 yards skidded off the wet turf and beyond the despairing dive of Benaglio to seal his 37th hat-trick for Madrid.

The Swiss 'keeper then kept Wolfsburg in the tie with brilliant saves from Karim Benzema and Jese Rodriguez to set up a grandstand finish.

But Madrid's experience told in the dying stages as they comfortable saw the game out to match Barcelona's record run of six semi-finals between 2008 and 2013.


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

01 November 2016
Besiktas v Napoli, Vodafone Arena 19:45
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Celtic, Borussia-Park 21:45
Benfica v Dynamo Kyiv, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Barcelona, Etihad Stadium 21:45
PSV v FC Bayern München, Philips Stadion 21:45
FC Basel v Paris Saint-Germain, St Jakob-Park 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v Arsenal, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v FC Rostov, Vicente Calderon 21:45
02 November 2016
FC Porto v Club Brugge, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Juventus v Lyon, Juventus Stadium 21:45
FC København v Leicester City, Parken Stadion 21:45
Legia Warsaw v Real Madrid, Pepsi Arena 21:45
Sevilla v Dinamo Zagreb, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Sporting Lisbon, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v CSKA Moscow, Stade Louis II 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Wembley 21:45
22 November 2016
CSKA Moscow v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Arena CSKA 19:00
Sporting Lisbon v Real Madrid, Estadio Jose Alvalade 21:45
Leicester City v Club Brugge, King Power Stadium 21:45
Dinamo Zagreb v Lyon, Maksimir 21:45
FC København v FC Porto, Parken Stadion 21:45
Sevilla v Juventus, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Legia Warsaw, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v Tottenham Hotspur, Stade Louis II 21:45
23 November 2016
FC Rostov v FC Bayern München, Olimp-2 Stadium 19:00
Besiktas v Benfica, Vodafone Arena 19:45
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Manchester City, Borussia-Park 21:45
Celtic v Barcelona, Celtic Park 21:45
Arsenal v Paris Saint-Germain, Emirates Stadium 21:45
Napoli v Dynamo Kyiv, San Paolo 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v FC Basel, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v PSV, Vicente Calderon 21:45
06 December 2016
FC Bayern München v Atlético de Madrid, Allianz Arena 21:45
Barcelona v Borussia Mönchengladbach, Camp Nou 21:45
Benfica v Napoli, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Celtic, Etihad Stadium 21:45
Dynamo Kyiv v Besiktas, Kiev Olympic Stadium 21:45
Paris Saint-Germain v Ludogorets Razgrad, Parc des Princes 21:45
PSV v FC Rostov, Philips Stadion 21:45
FC Basel v Arsenal, St Jakob-Park 21:45
07 December 2016
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Monaco, BayArena 21:45
FC Porto v Leicester City, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Club Brugge v FC København, Jan Breydelstadion 21:45
Juventus v Dinamo Zagreb, Juventus Stadium 21:45
Lyon v Sevilla, Parc OL 21:45
Legia Warsaw v Sporting Lisbon, Pepsi Arena 21:45
Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Santiago Bernabeu 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v CSKA Moscow, Wembley 21:45
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will be the 2015/16 Champions League top scorer?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.