Cristiano Ronaldo wrote more history for himself on Tuesday night as his hat-trick gave Real Madrid a 3-0 victory over Wolfsburg, sending Los Blancos to the Champions League semifinals.
After last week’s lackluster performance in Germany, few gave Zinedine Zidane’s much hope at the Santiago Bernabéu to overturn their two goal deficit.
I am not sure what Zidane said in his pre-match speech but Real flew out of the blocks and after just 15 minutes gone the comeback was on when Wolfsburg’s defence failed to deal with Dani Carvajal’s cross and Ronaldo was left with the simple task of steering the ball home at the far post.
Just 90 seconds later Dieter Hecking’s side were left shellshocked, as Ronaldo rose highest to meet a Toni Kroos near post corner to give Real a 2-0 lead in the match and more importantly, even the aggregate at 2-2
Karim Benzema was presented with a great chance to take the lead in the tie just shy of the half-hour mark, but the Frenchman shot right at Benaglio. To cap a miserable first 30 minutes, dangerous playmaker Julian Draxler, who was excellent in the first leg, was forced off with an injury and replaced by Max Kruse.
Real enjoyed a very positive start to the second half, as a nervous-looking Wolfsburg could not get out of their own half and they nearly did themselves in just after the hour mark when a Modric cross was almost redirected in by Wolfsburg defender Joshua Guilavogui past Benaglio.
But with 15 minutes from time, Ronaldo completed one of the great comebacks ever by Real Madrid in Europe when rifled in from just outside the area to make it a 3-0 lead in the match and a 3-2 Real lead on aggregate. Once again the Wolfsburg defense was at fault for the goal as the wall split open allowing Ronaldo’s shot to pass through it and into the net.
Despite only needing one goal to advance, Wolfsburg never really threatened to score all night and meekly surrounded to the Spanish side.
With the win Real made the Champions League semi-finals for a remarkable six straight time and kept alive their quest for an 11th European crown.