Champions League SemiFinals : Ronaldo hits hat-trick and demolishes Atletico Madrid
Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid
This was supposed to be a close encounter. This was the Madrid derby. This was supposed to be the game where Atletico take their much awaited sweet revenge over their cross town rivals. But looks like they will have to wait (again) till next year as the Atletico ship has mostly been submerged by yet another Ronaldo hattrick. Yes, there is still another leg to be played and in a game like football there are no certainties, yet if Atletico’s performance in the first leg is to go by, then Madrid fans can sleep peaceful and dream of yet another Champions League Cup, and be the first team to do so in succession. Plaudits to Ronaldo who showed his class yet again after that hattrick against Munich in the last UCL game (succession seems the theme this season). This was also his second hattrick against Atleti this season. Real Madrid were in complete control from start till end and barring a few nervy moments, Keylor Navas had virtually nothing to do and kept his first clean sheet of the tournament. The defense was organized and were able to nullify any threat Griezmann or Gameiro could offer. Kroos was majestic and always a threat with set pieces while Modric and Casemiro controlled the proceedings effectively. Benzema diverted defenders with his movement allowing Man of the Match Ronaldo to maneuver the pitch according to his wishes. His header in the tenth minute again showed his areal threat as he rose the highest to meet the cross. The second was another reminder of his ability to score under pressure while the third was served to him on a platter from a close range that Ronaldo does not miss. It would be a discredit to Zidane if his substitutions are not applauded. To bring on Nacho for the lively Carvajal who simply played one of his best games in Real shirt and then Asensio for Isco as well as Vazquez for Benzema, who both had contributions for the two second half goals.
Atletico are a very good team. But it will now require every trick up their sleeves to beat Real to the finals. They do have a tight defensive unit but Ronaldo breached it thrice last night and the team could have had more. They do have Griezmann, but he is not of the same class as Ronaldo or Messi, not yet. One more leg awaits, but as far as semi finals is concerned, Ronaldo has ensured that he is the King of Madrid.