Champions League

Last-gasp Ronaldo penalty takes Real into CL semis

2018-04-11 23:23
Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo (Getty Images)

Madrid - Cristiano Ronaldo rescued Real Madrid from a shock Champions League exit as his injury-time penalty allowed the holders to edge out Juventus in the most dramatic of quarter-finals on Wednesday, taking them through despite a 3-1 defeat. 

As it happened: Real Madrid v Juventus 

Real had looked certain to make the last four following last week's 3-0 first-leg victory in Turin, but Juve staged a sensational comeback in the return at the Santiago Bernabeu. 

Mario Mandzukic's two first-half headers kept the dream alive before Blaise Matuidi capitalised on a Keylor Navas error to pull the Italians level with half an hour left. 

But, just as a thrilling second leg looked to be heading for extra time, English referee Michael Oliver awarded Real a penalty in stoppage time. 

With the game in the 97th minute, Ronaldo made no mistake from 12 yards, ensuring a 3-1 defeat on the night but a 4-3 win on aggregate.

Gianluigi Buffon, making his 125th and perhaps final Champions League appearance before retirement, was sent off for his protests. If it is to be the 40-year-old's European farewell, it was a sad way to end. 

On Wednesday morning, Madrid newspaper Marca had revelled in Barcelona's collapse against Roma the night before with the headline 'Total Failure', but Zinedine Zidane's side came within a whisker of trumping that with an emphatic loss on their own patch. 

Real conceded the opener after just 76 seconds, the fastest they have ever conceded at home in the Champions League. 

But Ronaldo came up trumps again, scoring in his 11th consecutive fixture in this competition, extending his own record, and keeping Real on course for a third consecutive European triumph. 

Zidane had handed Gareth Bale his first Champions League start since September but this was far from a night of redemption for the Welshman. He was hauled off at half-time, with Real two down, and replaced by Marco Asensio. 

Edin Dzeko needed six minutes to set Roma on their way against Barcelona, but Juve needed just over one. 

Sami Khedira hung a deep cross to the back post where Mandzukic powered a header past Navas. 

His second, eight minutes before half-time, was almost a carbon copy. This time it was substitute Stephan Lichtsteiner, on for Mattia De Sciglio, who was given too much space by Marcelo to cross. Again Mandzukic jumped higher than Dani Carvajal as he nodded between Navas' right hand and the near post. 

In between, Real had dictated possession and created chances of their own, but Buffon was in imperious form. Just after Mandzukic got his second goal, Raphael Varane rattled the crossbar with a header to which Buffon got his fingertips.

Real, though, were shaky at the back, the channel between Marcelo and 21-year-old Jesus Vallejo regularly offering Juve hope.

Bale's night was up at half-time as he and Casemiro were replaced by Zidane's tried-and-trusted duo in Europe of Vazquez and Asensio.

However, Real's defensive problems were exposed again on the hour. 

Douglas Costa crossed from the right but Navas dropped the ball, allowing Matuidi to stab home and level the tie. 

Isco drove towards the bottom corner but Buffon's hand was there and the game looked to be drifting towards extra-time until the 93rd minute. 

Hanging in the air at the back post, Ronaldo nodded down to Vazquez who looked certain to score from five yards before Medhi Benatia desperately challenged him from behind. 

Oliver pointed to the spot much and in the ensuing chaos, Buffon was sent off for his protests. 

Wojciech Szczesny came on to face the decisive strike of the game. Ronaldo exhaled and slammed it into the top right-hand corner to take Real into the semi-finals. 

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Tuesday, 23 October 2018
AEK Athens v Bayern Munchen, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 18:55
Young Boys v Valencia, STADE DE SUISSE Wankdorf Bern 18:55
Real Madrid v Viktoria Plzen, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu 21:00
Ajax v Benfica, Johan Cruijff ArenA 21:00
Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 21:00
Manchester United v Juventus, Old Trafford 21:00
Roma v CSKA Moskva, Stadio Olimpico 21:00
Hoffenheim v Olympique Lyonnais, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 21:00
Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Club Brugge v Monaco, Jan Breydelstadion 18:55
PSV v Tottenham Hotspur, Philips Stadion 18:55
Liverpool v Crvena Zvezda, Anfield 21:00
Barcelona v Internazionale, Camp Nou 21:00
PSG v Napoli, Parc des Princes 21:00
Lokomotiv Moskva v Porto, RZD Arena 21:00
Borussia Dortmund v Atletico Madrid, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:00
Galatasaray v Schalke 04, Turk Telekom Stadyumu 21:00
Tuesday, 06 November 2018
Monaco v Club Brugge, Stade Louis II 19:55
Crvena Zvezda v Liverpool, Stadion Rajko Mitic 19:55
Porto v Lokomotiv Moskva, Estadio Do Dragao 22:00
Atletico Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 22:00
Internazionale v Barcelona, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza 22:00
Napoli v PSG, Stadio San Paolo 22:00
Schalke 04 v Galatasaray, Veltins-Arena 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v PSV, Wembley Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 07 November 2018
Valencia v Young Boys, Estadio de Mestalla 19:55
CSKA Moskva v Roma, VEB Arena 19:55
Juventus v Manchester United, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Bayern Munchen v AEK Athens, Allianz-Arena 22:00
Viktoria Plzen v Real Madrid, Doosan Arena 22:00
Benfica v Ajax, Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz) 22:00
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk, Etihad Stadium 22:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Hoffenheim, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Tuesday, 27 November 2018
AEK Athens v Ajax, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 19:55
CSKA Moskva v Viktoria Plzen, VEB Arena 19:55
Juventus v Valencia, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Bayern Munchen v Benfica, Allianz-Arena 22:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Manchester City, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Manchester United v Young Boys, Old Trafford 22:00
Roma v Real Madrid, Stadio Olimpico 22:00
Hoffenheim v Shakhtar Donetsk, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 22:00
Wednesday, 28 November 2018
Atletico Madrid v Monaco, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 19:55
Lokomotiv Moskva v Galatasaray, RZD Arena 19:55
Porto v Schalke 04, Estadio Do Dragao 22:00
PSG v Liverpool, Parc des Princes 22:00
PSV v Barcelona, Philips Stadion 22:00
Borussia Dortmund v Club Brugge, Signal-Iduna-Park 22:00
Napoli v Crvena Zvezda, Stadio San Paolo 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Internazionale, Wembley Stadium 22:00
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