Ronaldo hat-trick sinks Atletico in CL

UEFA Champions League

Los Blancos created the first chance seven minutes into this week’s semi-final first-leg with some slick one-touch passing around the area to eventually play in Daniel Carvajal, whose shot from close range was saved by Jan Oblak, with the defence eventually mopping up the rebound ahead of Karim Benzema.

The Galacticos did eventually open the scoring just minutes later as Ronaldo proved his clinical self to thump home a header from six yards out after Casemiro whipped the ball back into the box first time following a failed clearance by the visitors.

There were then chances at both ends, with the goalkeepers proving the stars this time, with Oblak first extending to full stretch to somehow keep out Raphael Varane from Toni Kroos’ set-piece delivery, while at the other end, Kevin Gameiro tried to go around Keylor Navas instead of poking past the keeper, who managed to just nip the ball off the attacker’s toes.

Atletico started the second-half brightly but looked uninspired up front, with Koke firing a shot on the bounce way off target to bring a blunt end to some sprightly build-up.

Diego Simeone’s men were made to pay for their wastefulness as Real Madrid struck a second goal with 73 minutes gone, Benzema doing well to hold off Godin before finding Ronaldo, who made the most of a fortunate bounce of the ball to drill home an unstoppable drive from just inside the area.

The Portuguese superstar would cap off a sublime European night with a worthy hat-trick four minutes from time as Casemiro smartly dummied Lucas Vazquez's cut-back to allow Ronaldo to control in the area before arrowing the ball into the back of the net to all but seal Real Madrid's place in the European Cup final.

Meanwhile, tomorrow's other semi-final first leg sees Juventus travel to France to take on Monaco, with the return fixtures for both ties to take place the following week.