Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick against Atlético fires Juventus into last eight,as City demolish Schalke by 7goals.
Juventus 3 – 0 Atlético
Cristiano Ronaldo called it a “magical night” after his hat-trick helped Juventus overturn a two-goal deficit in their Champions League last-16 tie against Atlético Madrid.
Ronaldo, signed from Real Madrid for £88.3m (€100m) last summer and aiming to lift the European Cup for the fourth season in succession, inspired the fightback with two towering headers and a late penalty which sealed a 3-2 win after they lost the first leg 2-0 in Madrid.
Juventus 3-0 Atlético Madrid (agg: 3-2): Champions League last 16, second leg – as it happened
“It was always going to be a special night – and it was, not only for the goals, but for the team,” Ronaldo told Juve’s website. “This is the mentality of champions, this is the journey to follow. We enjoyed a magical night.”
Late goals from José Giménez and Diego Godín had earned Atletico a 2-0 first-leg advantage but Ronaldo produced trademark headers in either half and converted the penalty to clinch a deserved aggregate win.
“Atlético were a difficult team but we were strong too,” added Ronaldo, who has scored 124 goals in 160 Champions League appearances.
João Cancelo, who provided the cross for Ronaldo’s second header in the 49th minute, praised his Portugal teammate. “Ronaldo? He’s fantastic,” he said. “Now we will think about the league, we want to win against Genoa [on Sunday]. This victory was important for the team. We worked well and we deserved this success.”
Leonardo Bonucci saluted the home fans in Turin and also quickly switched focus to the Serie A game at Genoa. Massimiliano Allegri’s side, unbeaten in their domestic league this season, are 18 points clear at the top.
“It’s a great night for the Juventus family and we responded on the field,” defender Bonucci added. “In the first leg we were missing something but today we gave everything and the Allianz Stadium was our 12th man in an incredible night”
Atlético ended the first leg in rousing fashion but they offered little threat in the return and Diego Simeone was magnanimous in defeat. “They were better than us,” the manager said. “We didn’t have many chances apart from Alvaro Morata’s header. Juventus played very well. We have to congratulate them.”
Juventus hat-trick hero Cristiano Ronaldo: “It was always going to be a special night and it was, not only for the goals, but for the team. This is the mentality of champions, this is the journey to follow, we enjoyed a magical night.
“Atletico were a difficult team, but we were strong too. We will see what will happen.”
Juve defender Leonardo Bonucci: “It’s a great night for the Juventus family, and we responded on the field. In the first leg, we were missing something, but today, we gave everything, and Allianz Stadium was our 12th man in an incredible night.
“What was said in recent weeks touched us and we pulled out something more. But now we want to win in Genoa, to continue our journey and prepare a great month of April.
Meanwhile in another Champions League Match at Etihad stadium.
City side enjoy seven-goal stroll into last eight against limp Schalke
City 7- 0 Schalke 04. (10-2 aggregate.)
Manchester City hammered a team that were absolutely average. Schalke were naive and self destructive, but we saw some nice things today from City – they only had 15 shots on target and scored seven of them.
City don’t learn a great deal but it was a dream scenario for them with all the games they have to play. They scored and cruised. City’s players moved the ball so well.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola speaking to journalists
“It was a clear result. We are happy to get to the quarter-finals. We didn’t start that well, we were a bit scared to play. But after it went 1-0, we relaxed and decided to play and be aggressive.
“Of course with the qualification already secured, it was tough for them and we kept a good level. We have a lot of injured players so we want to continue this run and get those players back fit.
“Everyone has to compete with each other to play. They all want to play. Everybody tried to play, be bold and keep going.
On the use of VAR: “They need to be a little bit quicker to make decisions but it is fair. The two penalties went against us from VAR in Germany but at the end it is fair. At the end that is what we are looking for. Hopefully in the Premier League next season that is what can happen. I am happy with VAR. Hopefully it can be quicker than today.
“I like the teams who deserve to win, go through. Sometimes you don’t go through for wrong decisions. It helps referees to make those decisions fairly.”
Manchester City winger Leroy Sane
“It was a good game again from us. We knew it would be tough but we did really well and we’re happy.
“They stood firm and compact at the start but we know what to do to find the spaces. It was a good win.
18-year-old Phil Foden: “Every time I come on I just try to enjoy my football. I try to concentrate and improve. I enjoy scoring goals.
“You are learning all the time in the changing rooms, on the touchline and when you come on. I am learning every day. I will try to keep improving each day.
“They are all great lads and great players so it is just a pleasure to be here.”