Champions League Semi-Final

Champions League Semi-Final Roundup: Real Madrid Put Three Past Atleti

The Champions League semi-finals kicked off with the Madrid derby taking place at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

Atleti evidently travelled to Los Blancos’ domain with the intention of getting an away goal in a bid to make the second-leg at the Calderon much more winnable, but things went south pretty fast for Diego Simeone’s side as they were beaten 3-0 on the night.

Ronaldo put up a sensational display against Atleti having bagged a superb hat-trick to affirm his status as Madrid’s main man in the Champions League this season.

He opened the scoring in the 10th-minute having beaten Atlet’s Stefan Savic to a header. Atleti looked to retaliate, but they were unable to due to Madrid’s impressive defending and a lack of cutting edge finishing on their part.

The rest of the first half ended goalless, but Ronaldo struck home once again in the second 45, this time latching on to a ball from strike partner, Karim Benzema in the 73rd-minute.

Atletico’s hopes of salvaging anything from the tie was thrown into tatters when Ronaldo scored his third goal of the game in the 86th-minute, thus leaving Simeone to ponder how his side might stage a comeback in the second-leg at the Vincente Calderon.

The likes of Antoine Griezmann, Kevin Gameiro and Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco looked lost on the pitch as their influence in the game was at its barest minimum thus resulting in Atletico being able to muster just one shot on target as opposed to Real Madrid’s eight, three of which went into the back of the net.

Wednesday night’s fixture saw Monaco enter into a similar boat to Atletico as the French outfit were beaten 2-0 by Juventus who’s strong defensive unit prevented Monaco from scoring a single goal.

Known infamously for letting his team down on the big occasions, Gonzalo Higuain proved to be the match-winner for Juventus as he bagged a superb brace thus helping Juventus continue their excellent form away from home in this season’s Champions League.

As expected, Monaco began the season on the front foot with Mbappe leading the line and utilising his pace and trickery in an attempt to get past Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini.

The young Frenchman failed to have the sort of effect on the game he’d have wanted with Juventus’ backline giving him and his teammates a tough time at the Stade Louis II.

Gonzalo Higuain opened the scoring in the 29th-minute thanks to a superb ball in from Dani Alves.

Monaco’s attempts to play Juventus off the park continued soon after Higuain’s goal, but Mbappe was tightly marked hence he couldn’t aid his side properly.

Juventus grabbed their second goal through the same pair in the 59th-minute as Dani Alves set Higuain up for a goal once again.

At that point, Leonardo Jardim’s side were in utter shambles and desperate for a goal to preserve their chances of making it into the Champions League final.

Juventus grabbed two away goals which will be a crucial factor when they host Monaco at the Juventus Stadium next week.

As things stand, it looks like Real Madrid will take on Juventus in the final, but it remains to be seen if Atletico or Monaco can stage a comeback in the second-leg.

Highlights of Champions League Semi-Final

Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid

 

Monaco vs Juventus

 

About the Author Phillip Ekuwem

Phillip is a football writer with an immense love and passion for the beautiful game. He's well versed in European football as he enjoys watching the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga and the Serie A.

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