Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick fires Juventus past Atlético and into last eight

Atletico defender Juanfran and Atletico midfielder Saul Niguez fight for the ball against Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo during the Champions League round of 16 first leg soccer match between Atletico Madrid and Juventus at Wanda Metropolitano stadium

Atletico Madrid will automatically advance with any win, draw or one-goal loss.

With Atlético packing their defence, Ronaldo made the crucial breakthrough in the 27th minute when he rose to head in Federico Bernardeschi's cross at the far post. Atletico Madrid are no match for Juventus when they are at their best and with the current stakes, I am expecting the Italian giants to produce their best.

Spanish media outlet Marca reported that Ronaldo had been "repeatedly telling his close family and friends that Juventus will progress and that he'll score a hat-trick" prior to the match.

In the Champions League, he helped Madrid beat Atletico in two finals (2014 and 2016), one quarterfinal (2015) and one semifinal (2017).

Atletico coach Diego Simeone has chosen a 4-4-2 formation with defender Diego Godin returning from injury while forward Alvaro Morata starts alongside Antoine Griezmann instead of suspended Diego Costa.

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Ronaldo nearly scored when his long-range free kick forced Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak to make a hard save in the ninth 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. Cristiano Ronaldo, you might remember him - the bronzed Adonis created in a laboratory to score goals and flaunt his abs and score some more goals and flaunt his additional, supplementary abs - slammed a penalty and two towering headers home for the Turin side when they needed his eyeball-popping, megastar aura to take hold the most.

Ronaldo did get the second goal three minutes after the break. Leonardo Spinazzola makes his debut at the back!

Now for Juventus! As expected, Ronaldo is in attack!

A VAR review denied Juve a fourth-minute opener, but Ronaldo's first header of the game gave them hope and the Serie A leaders drew level in the tie thanks to the Portugal superstar's aerial power again.

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