Real Madrid have qualified for the semi-final of the UEFA Champion League beating 10-man Bayern Munich 4-2 (aggregate 6-3) in extra time. The defending champions would need to thank Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat trick for making the feat possible.
Bayern lost the first leg last week 1-2, but with their talisman, Robert Lewandowski on parade, they took the battle back to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Lewandowski scored first via penalty in the 53rd minute, after Casemiro fouled Arjen Robben in the Madrid box. The goal cancelled Madrid’s slim advantage and threw open the qualification.
But in the 76th minute, Cristiano Ronaldo stretched his record of UEFA goals when he headed Madrid ahead, after a Casemiro cross.
The game however was to slip into the bizarre and the horrendous two minutes after when Sergio Ramos, the man who had rescued Madrid at several crucial moments, let in an own goal, after badly clearing a ball by Thomas Mueller.
Bayern and Madrid were tied again as the thrilling, tense match wore on. Six minutes after, Madrid got their own gift from Bayern, when striker Arturo Vidal bagged a second yellow card and was sent out of the field. That moment in the 84th minute was a defining one for the match and 10-man Bayern found themselves no match for Madrid as play went into extra 30 minutes.
Ronaldo banged in two goals, either side of the extra time to record a hat trick and Marco Asensio scored a third goal, Madrid’s fourth in the night to put out the match from a shattered Bayern Munich side.
Even though the Germans had 55 per cent of possession to Madrid’s 45 per cent, they were the big losers, going back home with a 3-6 loss and another heartache from Real Madrid.
In the second match of the night, Atletico Madrid ended the fairy tale of the English champions, Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.
Leading 1-0 from the first leg in Spain, Atletico took control through Saul Niguez’s first-half header to have a 2-0 lead over two legs.
City took the game to Atletico after the break and gave themselves hope via Jamie Vardy’s close-range finish which drew the tie 1-1 on the night but 1-2 aggregate.
The visitors however held on to reach their third semi-final in four seasons.