Cristiano Ronaldo delivered an exclamation point to an already sterling day with a brilliant bicycle kick finish that may well have sent Real Madrid to the Champions League semi-final.
The Portuguese superstar had already produced for the Champions League holders, having turned home an Isco cross in the third minute to give Madrid a 1-0 lead in the first leg of their quarter-final tie against Juventus at the Allianz Stadium.
Then, in the 64th minute, going away from goal, Ronaldo leaped into the air to meet a cross from Daniel Carvajal and put enough power on the shot to leave Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon helpless, to make it 2-0.
The chance came about after Ronaldo had pounced on a mix-up between Giorgio Chiellini and Buffon to win the ball on the byline. Juventus thought they had the situation dealt with after Buffon made a sterling save to keep out Lucas Vazquez when it appeared he would double Madrid’s advantage.
But Carvajal was able to get on the ball and deliver a floating cross that Ronaldo managed to turn into a memorable finish.
It was such a good finish, it appeared to even awe Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane.
Ronaldo had already made history by scoring in his 10th consecutive game Champions League game. And he capped his night by turning provider in the 72nd minute as Marcelo made it 3-0, to all but punch Madrid’s ticket into the next round, with the second leg at the Bernabeu on April 11.
The brace means Ronaldo has now scored in 10 of his last 11 games, including internationals, and has netted at least a brace in eight of those contests. Overall, he now has 21 goals in his last 11 games.
Excluding his time with Portugal, Ronaldo has now scored in 11 of 12 games, with 23 goals over that span.