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Champions League classics: Juventus 3-0 Atlético

Remember Cristiano Ronaldo's tie-turning hat-trick? Watch the game again IN FULL on UEFA.tv – here we set the scene.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after making it 3-0 from the penalty spot
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after making it 3-0 from the penalty spot Getty Images

Beaten 2-0 in Madrid in the first leg of their 2018/19 round of 16 tie, Juventus had a mammoth task to get past Atlético and into the quarter-finals. Cometh the hour, cometh the man. The Bianconeri's memorable 3-0 second-leg win is the first in our series of UEFA Champions League classics.

WATCH THE GAME IN FULL


Context

First leg highlights: Atlético 2-0 Juventus
First leg highlights: Atlético 2-0 Juventus

Another masterful home display from Atlético had put Diego Simeone's side to within sight of the last eight. The Rojiblancos spent much of the first half in Madrid sucking the life out of Juve's biggest threats – Cristiano Ronaldo was largely nullified, for now at least – before imposing their own attack after the break. The pressure paid off in the final 13 minutes, centre-backs José María Giménez and Diego Godín both netting to give the Liga team a 2-0 lead to take to Turin.

Key players

  • Cristiano Ronaldo: Prior to the Atlético decider, the UEFA Champions League's all-time leading marksman had scored only once in the competition since joining Juve in summer 2018.
  • Federico Bernardeschi: An evasive Tuscan runner whose technique and elegance earned him the nickname 'Brunelleschi' after the Florentine founding father of Renaissance architecture. Juve needed him at his creative best.
  • João Cancelo: Juve's best hope, many thought, was attacking the flanks – Simeone's team's vulnerability – so there was a lot of onus on full-backs Cancelo and competition debutant Leonardo Spinazzola.
Juventus's route to the last 16
Juventus's route to the last 16

What happened

The hosts were effervescent from the off and went ahead in the 27th minute when Ronaldo towered above Juanfran to nod Bernardeschi's cross past Jan Oblak. The Portuguese repeated the trick three minutes after the interval – this time from a Cancelo delivery – for his 24th goal against Atlético in 32 games.

THE GAME AS IT HAPPENED


Substitute Moise Kean could have sealed the aggregate turnaround when put through, only to drag his effort wide. However, Massimiliano Allegri's men were not to be denied, Ronaldo completing his hat-trick from the penalty spot after Ángel Correa clipped the marauding Bernardeschi.

Reaction

Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus forward: "Maybe that's why they signed me."

Juventus hero Ronaldo: We played like a Champions League team
Juventus hero Ronaldo: We played like a Champions League team

Diego Simeone, Atlético coach: "You have congratulate an opponent when they play a game like that and you are beaten like today. They were better tactically and at second balls. That is why they won the game."

Corriere dello Sport, Italy: "There are no adjectives to describe [Ronaldo]. He is simply the best of all."

Marca, Spain: "Griezmann was never dangerous in any moment of the game, Godín lost all the aerial duels with Cristiano, Correa conceded an unforgivable penalty."

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Elsewhere that evening

Manchester City claimed their biggest ever European win in the night's other match, Sergio Agüero striking twice in the space of four minutes as Josep Guardiola's side followed up a 3-2 away win with a 7-0 victory over Schalke in England. Guardiola said: "In the second half we were incredibly good; playing quick, the dynamics, the transitions. We scored seven goals."

2018/19 highlights: Man. City 7-0 Schalke
2018/19 highlights: Man. City 7-0 Schalke

Aftermath

Having salvaged victory from the jaws of defeat against Atlético, Juventus reversed the poles in the quarter-finals. After earning a 1-1 draw away to in-form Ajax, they took the lead in the return leg but ended up losing 2-1 at home, Matthijs de Ligt firing the second-half winner.

Ronaldo's sensational hat-trick remains the only one he has scored for Juventus in the UEFA Champions League (though he has scored three more for Portugal since). He got his first Serie A treble in a 4-0 defeat of Cagliari in January 2020.

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