Cristiano Ronaldo once again proved to be the match-winner for Real Madrid on Wednesday night, with the striker’s injury-time penalty firing his side into the Champions League semi-finals after a dramatic clash with Juventus.
Taking their cue from fellow countrymen Roma last night, Juve pegged back Real’s 3-0 advantage from the first-leg, with Mario Mandzukic starting the comeback via a headed goal from a Sami Khedira centre after just two minutes.
Before the break, Mandzukic would score another header to set up a thrilling second-half.
The Old Lady pushed for that vital third goal against a lacklustre Madrid side, and it came on the hour-mark, with Blaise Matuidi making the most of a fumble from Keylor Navas to level the tie at 3-3.
The game looked headed for extra-time until the most dramatic of endings, with English ref Michael Oliver pointing to the spot after Mahdi Benatia had fouled Lucas Vazquez in the Juve box.
Gigi Buffon, in possibly his last appearance in the Champions League, was livid at the decision, and his verbal volley aimed at Oliver earned him a red card.
Former Arsenal ‘keeper Wojciech Szczęsny came off the bench to face Ronaldo from the penalty spot, but unsurprisingly, the Madrid man produced the perfect penalty, firing high into the net to put his side into the last four of the competition.
That goal means that Ronaldo extended his record to 11 games with a goal in the Champions League.
Los Merengues join Liverpool, Roma and Bayern Munich in the draw for the semi-finals, which take place on Friday.
What a good set of fixtures these quarter-finals have been. And what a superb effort from Juventus – a 3-1 win at the Bernabeu is quite a result!