Thursday, April 13, 2017

C.Ronaldo is back again

Cristiano Ronaldo is back from the dead and back in
the groove. The Real Madrid attacker came into the
Champions League quarter-final clash away to
Bayern Munich without a goal in 613 minutes of
European football but reports of the 32-year-old's
demise were greatly exaggerated.
On Wednesday night at the Allianz Arena, he found
his shooting boots just when he was most needed
to leave Los Blancos within touching distance of the
last four.
R onaldo at the double as Madrid beat Bayern
The Portuguese usually converts for fun in the
continental competition, yet he had failed to register
since scoring against Borussia Dortmund early on in
the group stage and even that had only been his
second strike in Europe. Two in eight games prior to
this one.
That led many to question whether he could still do
it against the very best, while former Madrid
midfielder and coach Bernd Schuster even claimed
the four-time Ballon d'Or winner had lost his
appetite for goals.
In last season's Champions League, Ronaldo netted
16 times in 12 games en route to the trophy, but all
of those strikes were scored against teams that
failed to qualify for the competition this time around:
Malmo, Shakhtar Donetsk, Roma and Wolfsburg.

However, it would be a brave man to write off
Ronaldo and he came good early in the second half
with a clinical finish as Real sought a way back into
the game after Arturo Vidal's header had given
Bayern the lead in the opening period.

Ronaldo hits 100th goal in Europe
Vidal also blasted a (highly dubious) penalty over
the crossbar late in the first half and it looks like the
tie turned on that moment because after the interval,
Madrid came out with much more intensity and
found their reward with Ronaldo's equaliser on 47
minutes, when he beat Manuel Neuer with a precise
right-footed effort from a Dani Carvajal cross.
Javi Martinez was then sent off for kicking the
Portuguese and after that, Madrid edged closer and
closer to a winning goal. Bayern were hanging on
and there was Cristiano again to poke through
Neuer's legs after substitute Marco Asensio had
curled in an inviting ball to the 32-year-old.

Bayern boss Carlo Ancelotti had praised Ronaldo
before the game and said he hoped his former
player would start the game on the bench. And
ironically, Cristiano had fought to try and keep the
Italian coach at Madrid when the writing was on the
wall for ex-Milan trainer.
Under Ancelotti, Ronaldo and Madrid produced one
of their most dynamic displays of recent times at
the Allianz Arena in 2014 when Real ran out 4-0
winners and the Portuguese scored twice in the
semi-final second leg to set a new Champions
League goals record of 17 in a single season.

Perhaps those happy memories helped the
Portuguese to return to goalscoring form in this
match, his two goals taking him past 100 strikes in
European competition and, more importantly, edging
Madrid closer to the last four of the competition.
After Barcelona's damaging defeat on Tuesday at
Juventus and now this result, Madrid will be
favourites to lift the famous trophy again, having
already won the European Cup on 11 occasions -
including twice in the past three seasons.
And with Ronaldo having risen from the dead once
more to prove that he can still score goals when it
matters most, they will have an even better chance
of winning number 12 in Cardiff in June.


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