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Ronaldo lauded after ‘most beautiful goal’ buries Juve

Turin, Wednesday @baromeo

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a record-breaking goal and a stunning overhead bicycle kick to bury Juventus 3-0 on Tuesday in a rematch of last year’s Champions League final.

Ronaldo became the first player to score in 10 consecutive Champions League games as Real Madrid beat Juventus 3-0 in the first leg of the quarter-finals in Turin, but it was his second goal that everybody will remember.

The Portuguese superstar surpassed himself with a breathtaking overhead hit from inside the box to help put holders Real Madrid closer to the semi-finals.

“One of the most beautiful goals in the history of football,” said Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane. It took him only two minutes and 47 seconds to open the scoring in Turin, flicking in Isco’s cross.

But the jeers of the home fans turned to applause and earned him a standing ovation after 64 minutes when Dani Carvajal crossed back into the area where Ronaldo connected with an outrageous bicycle kick. “Cristiano does things sometimes that only he can do,” said Zidane.

“It can be said that it is one of the most beautiful goals in the history of football. “It’s maybe not as beautiful as mine in Glasgow,” joked Zidane of his goal against Bayer Leverkusen in 2002 that gave Real their ninth Champions League title.

“I’m the coach but I’m also a football fan, when I see something like that … that’s why Ronaldo is different from others because he can do that kind of thing.

“I’m happy for him and happy to have him on our team.” Ronaldo has been on a goalscoring streak of 19 goals in his last nine games for Real 28 in 2018 a feat which even Zidane has said makes him jealous.

He has now scored 16 goals in his past 10 Champions League games 14 goals this season and a double in last year’s final against Juventus. He holds the record for Champions League goals scored with 119.

Meanwhile, Sevilla ended their Champions League quarter-final first leg against Bayern Munich wondering what might have been, just as they had against Barcelona three days earlier.

They had chances and were the better side for large spells of their 2-1 defeat at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, but Bayern, like Barcelona, needed only a moment to strike.

Vincenzo Montella said afterwards his players had not had luck on their side and there was some truth in that. Franck Ribery’s cross was heading wide until Jesus Navas dangled out a foot and Thiago Alcantara’s header would probably have been saved had it not been diverted by Sergio Escudero.

But for all their energy, verve and aggression, Sevilla have shown this week they still lack the control to manage matches against elite opposition.

Against Bayern, they led for only six minutes, allowing their opponents to reach half-time level when they could easily have been two goals down as Pablo Sarabia, Sevilla’s scorer, had planted an earlier, easier chance wide.

“With that opportunity it was a pity,” Sarabia said. “I tried to adjust it to the maximum and I did not hit the target.” Against Barcelona they had conceded twice after holding a deserved 2-0 lead with just two minutes to go. -AFP

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