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Soccer Ronaldo nets hat trick to send Juventus into CL quarters

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first hat trick for Juventus to send the club into the Champions League quarter-finals with a 3-0 win over Atletico Madrid on Tuesday as the Italian side fought back from a two-goal first-leg defeat.

Ronaldo netted from open play in each half and then converted a late penalty as Juventus advanced 3-2 on aggregate, ending Atletico’s hopes of reaching the final in its Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

It was Ronaldo’s eighth hat trick in the competition, moving him level with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and demonstrating why Juventus paid Real Madrid €112-million (then US$131.5-million) for the Portugal star who has dominated the competition in recent years.

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Ronaldo is looking for a fourth straight Champions League title, while Madrid was eliminated without him by Ajax last week.

Manchester City is also through to the final eight after routing Schalke 7-0 to progress 10-2 on aggregate.

Juventus thought it had taken the lead less than three minutes into the game but VAR confirmed that Ronaldo had fouled Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak before Giorgio Chiellini fired in the rebound.

Italy forward Federico Bernardeschi was handed a start instead of Paulo Dybala for Juventus, and he responded by putting in a cross from the left for Ronaldo to head in at the far post in the 27th minute. Bernardeschi also had several chances to extend Juve’s lead – notably with an audacious overhead kick in the 35th minute which flew narrowly over.

Ronaldo went close again shortly before halftime when he again outjumped everyone but headed Leonardo Spinazzola’s cross wide of the right post.

Ronaldo did get the second goal three minutes after the break. Joao Cancelo put in a cross from the right and although Oblak clawed Ronaldo’s header out from under his crossbar, goal-line technology confirmed the ball had crossed the line.

Juventus went all out attack and got the decisive third goal four minutes from time. Bernardeschi was nudged over in the penalty area and Ronaldo converted the resulting spot kick to send the home fans wild.

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City 7, Schalke 0

Manchester City tied the record for the biggest win in the last 16 of the Champions League by thrashing Schalke 7-0 on Tuesday, completing a 10-2 aggregate victory to reach the quarter-finals for the third time in four seasons.

This season’s round of 16 has featured some memorable comebacks so far – notably by Ajax and Manchester United – but Schalke’s chances of overturning a 3-2 first-leg deficit virtually disappeared when Sergio Aguero chipped home a 35th-minute penalty to make it 1-0 in the second leg.

Aguero doubled the lead three minutes later, Leroy Sane rolled in another goal before halftime, before Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus added second-half goals for City against the demoralized visitors from Germany.

It equaled the 7-0 wins recorded by Bayern Munich against Basel (2012) and Shakhtar Donetsk (2015). The latter was achieved when City manager Pep Guardiola was coach at Bayern.

With two months left of the season, a quadruple of trophies remains on for City, which has already won the English League Cup, is top of the Premier League, and plays second-tier Swansea in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.

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Winning the Champions League for the first time will be the toughest task but City’s chances have improved with Paris Saint-Germain and titleholder Real Madrid getting eliminated at the last-16 stage.

City joined United, Tottenham, Porto and Ajax in the quarter-finals and also Juventus, which beat Atletico 3-0 on Tuesday thanks to a hat trick from Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Associated Press

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