Real Madrid progressed to the Champions League semi-finals after Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick inspired them to a 3-0 win over VfL Wolfsburg at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday night.
- Real Madrid 3 Wolfsburg 0
- Ramos hits woodwork early on
- Ronaldo scores quick-fire brace
- Half-time 2-2 on aggregate
- Ronaldo completes his hat-trick
Ronaldo’s three-goal haul saw Los Blancos overturn a 2-0 deficit from the first leg of the quarter-final last week and book their place in the last four of Europe’s elite club competition.
The prolific forward scored a quick-fire brace in the 15th and 17th minute respectively before his second-half free-kick secured a memorable comeback for Zinedine Zidane’s side.
What a comeback at the Bernabéu!
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) 12 April 2016
Madrid signaled their intent as early as the sixth minute when captain Sergio Ramos hit the post with a powerful header after a magnificent delivery from Toni Kroos.
The early chance spurred both teams into action as the game opened up into a high-tempo affair with chances on either end.
The hosts eventually took the lead through club talisman Ronaldo, who stroked the ball past Diego Benaglio after Dani Carvajal’s cross evaded the Wolfsburg defence in the 15th minute.
Barely two minutes later Ronaldo made sure the aggregate scores were level with plenty of time left to find the winner. Kroos was influential as ever as his corner found Ronaldo, who found the back of the net once again to send the home fans into ecstasy.
Midway through the half, Brazilian midfielder Luiz Gustavo found space at the edge of the Madrid area and almost reduced the deficit for the visitors but Keylor Navas was equal to the rasping drive, just tipping it over the post.
Andre Schurrle looked dangerous as the Wolves looked to hurt Zidane’s men on the counter and five minutes before the break, the winger went on mazy run down the flank before supplying Bruno Henrique with a precise delivery. However, the resulting shot was quickly dealt with once again by the impressive Navas.
The second half started in a similar fashion as a barrage of Real attacks, led by Kroos and Ronaldo ensured Wolfsburg goalkeeper Diego Benaglio stayed busy.
Wolfsburg were then forced to shoot from long range as Los Blancos started to control the midfield, but Schurrle came close to scoring with another effort in the 53rd minute as they looked to spoil the party for the home fans.
The comeback was eventually completed by Ronaldo as he made it 3-0 on the night and 3-2 on aggregate with a wonderfully taken free-kick that traveled low through the broken wall and left Benaglio unsighted.
— Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) 12 April 2016
Real were visibly buoyed by the goal and Karim Benzema had the chance to put them 4-0 up as he cut in from the left side of the midfield before hitting a curling effort to the far post, forcing a fingertip save from Benaglio.
It was a case of too little too late for Wolfsburg as the home defence dealt with anything the Bundesliga outfit threw at them until the final whistle.