3 Takeaways From Real Madrid’s Win Against Juventus
Sublime. Sensational. Breathtaking.
Those are only a few of the superlatives that will be used to describe Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid after a convincing 3-0 win over 10-man Juventus in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal on Tuesday in Turin.
Ronaldo scored twice – including a superb bicycle kick in the 64th minute – and assisted Madrid’s third of the game.
Here are three takeaways from the match
1. 'Why Always Juventus?'
It was like witnessing a repeat of last year’s Champions League final.
The only difference was Juventus conceded much earlier in this match, but took control for the remainder of the first half.
The Old Lady danced brilliantly for first 15 minutes of the second interval until Real Madrid’s midfield, and Ronaldo, shattered the Bianconeri at home.
Madrid re-matched Juve with the same XI that won last season's Champions League Final, while the Bianconeri were without Miralem Pjanic, Medhi Benatia and Federico Bernardeschi.
On that occasion, Los Blancos thrashed the Old Lady 4-1, but history was on the side of the latter, given they had come out on top in their last three knockout meetings.
2. Isco Answers Zidane’s Challenge
Following Spain’s 6-1 rout of Argentina on March 27, Isco – who bagged a hat trick in the game – was left wondering why he’s not been able to fully win the trust of Real Madrid coach, Zinedine Zidane.
Zidane must be more convinced by Isco’s abilities after his display versus Juventus.
After noticing Mattia De Sciglio and Douglas Costa marking Marcelo, the Spaniard ran into the open space on the left, received the pass from the Brazilian full-back, read Ronaldo’s run and laid off a perfectly weighted ball into the Portuguese’s path.
3. Ronaldo Is Super-human
Ronaldo became the first player in history to score in 10 consecutive Champions League matches.
It was also his eighth and ninth goals against Juventus, more than anyone else.
The Portuguese now has 38 goals in 36 matches in all competitions this season.
He’s scored in every match since Feb. 10, a run of nine games, and that includes both legs versus PSG tie in the Round of 16 and Wednesday’s win over Juventus.
The bicycle kick itself was even more impressive because it should’ve been an awkward set up for him.
It was so incredible, even the home fans stood up to applaud.
At 33, Ronaldo’s been forced into a new role as a centre forward of sorts. He may not be the same player compared to a few years ago, but those early season concerns were curious.
The Portuguese superstar was in the right areas. He just wasn’t finishing. Now he’s more clinical.