Ronaldo Hits Hat-trick, Sets Records As Real Trounce Atletico

Ronaldo Hits Hat-trick, Sets Records As Real Trounce Atletico

Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to reach over 50 UEFA Champions League knockout stage goals on Tuesday with a superb hat-trick to give Real Madrid a commanding 3-0 win over Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their semi-final at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday.

It was a dominant display from Madrid as Ronaldo scored a goal in the first half before adding two more in the second half to give his side a significant first leg advantage.

The hat-trick was Ronaldo’s second against Atletico this season with his first coming in a 3-0 win in the league at the Vicente Calderon.

He also became the first player to score a hat-trick in a Champions League semi-final game since Robert Lewandowski for Dortmund in the 2012/2013 season.

Karim Benzema had the game’s first real chance on seven minutes but his effort slightly came off Jan Oblak before rolling out for a corner.

Madrid took the lead in the 10th minute after Ronaldo outjumped his marker to plant a fine header past Oblak following Casemiro’s mishit cross. With the goal, Ronaldo became the first player to score 50 goals in the Champions League knockout stages.

Madrid would have doubled their lead on 16 minutes but Oblak made a brilliant save off Raphael Varane’s header from Toni Kroos’ corner.

In the 21st minute Benzema went close for Madrid off a well taken cross from Dani Carvajal only for the French forward to shoot straight at Oblak.

Madrid continued to boss the game and were almost rewarded on 24 minutes but Luka Modric’s low shot narrowly missed the target.

Benzema had another chance inside Atletico’s box in the 29th minute but his bicycle kick from a Ronaldo cross went inches over the bar.

Atletico had their first chance of the game in the 32nd minute from Antoine Griezman’s clever free-kick which Diego Godin could not direct on target.

Before the start of the second half Madrid were forced to a change with Carvajal going off injured and being replaced by Nacho Fernandez.

Madrid continued to probe forward and had a chance in the 67th minute but Benzema blazed his effort way over the bar after being teed up by Toni Kroos.

Ronaldo made it 2-0 in the 73rd minute, firing in from the edge of the box after Felipe Luiz failed to properly clear Benzema’s pass.

With 10 minutes left Madrid almost added to their lead but Lucas Vasquez could not direct Asencio’s cross.

In the 86th minute Ronaldo completed his hat-trick after finishing off Vasquez cutback, to become the first player in history to score back-to-back Champions League hat-tricks in the knockout stages. He scored another hat-trick in the second leg of their quarter-final against Bayern Munich.

Modric went close to adding a fourth for Madrid but saw his well struck strike miss the target.

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