Ronaldo sets record as holders make UCL headlines
Cardiff 2017
13 April 2017

Ronaldo sets record as holders make UCL headlines

Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player ever to score 100 European goals on a tense week of UEFA Champions League action that saw Juventus, Monaco, Atletico Madrid and holders Real Madrid all claim victory in their respective quarter-final ties.

Bayern Munich manager Carlio Ancelotti celebrated Champions League success with Real Madrid in 2013/14, but the most successful manager in the history of the competition will need to be at his best in the return match next week as two goals from Ronaldo on Wednesday night edged the match in favour of the Spanish giants with a 2-1 win at the Allianz Arena.

It could have been very different for Bayern Munich after Arturo Vidal had headed the German champions in front midway through the opening half, but Vidal would squander a great chance to double the advantage before the break when he fired his penalty over the bar.

Real Madrid responded in perfect style as a neat finish from Ronaldo minutes into the second half levelled the score, and the Portuguese talisman scored his historic 100th European goal on 77 minutes to put the ball firmly back in Madrid's court ahead of the return match at the Santiago Bernabeu next week. 

Concerning events in Germany ahead of Borussia Dortmund's tie against Monaco meant that there would only be one fixture on Tuesday night, but Juventus made it a memorable one as they claimed a famous 3-0 victory over Barcelona.

Backed by a passionate Turin crowd, Max Allegri's side avenged the 2015 UEFA Champions League final defeat against their Spanish opponents with a superb performance headlined by an impressive brace of goals in the opening 22 minutes from Paulo Dybala. Veteran defender Georgio Chiellini added a third for the Italian champions early in the second half, but Juventus must now travel the Nou Camp, and will be well-aware of Barcelona's potential with a capacity Catalan crowd behind them.

After reversing a 4-0 defeat against Paris Saint-Germain in the last round, Luis Enrique's side have it all to do if they are to move a step closer to Cardiff, but this latest challenge may prove to be too tough even for them.

The Wednesday night action started early in Germany as Borussia Dortmund welcomed Monaco in their rearranged fixture from the night before and it was the visitors that narrowly edged a five goal thriller.

Teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe has been making headlines for Monaco all season, and would become the youngest player ever to score a brace in the competition as Leonardo Jardim's side claimed a 3-2 victory.

Mbappe opened the scoring inside the opening 20 minutes, and an own goal from Sven Bender increased their advantage before half-time. However, backed by their yellow wall, Dortmund responded through Ousmane Dembele before Mbappe restored Monaco's two goal lead. A late goal from Shinji Kagawa means that Dortmund still have it all to play for next week, but the 2013 finalists will need to defend better against the consistent attacking prowess of Jardim's Monaco side and the prodigious talent of Mbappe.

The Leicester City story continued as the English Premier League champions headed to the Vicente Calderon to take on 2016 finalists Atletico Madrid, but a penalty from Antoine Griezmann in the first half proved to be the difference beaten the two sides as the team from the Spanish capital claimed a 1-0 victory.

It was Griezmann's fifth goal in the competition this season and again emphasised his importance to the side, but Diego Simeone's team still have a lot to do if they are to progress to the semi-final stage.

Wales midfielder Andy King appeared from the bench for the second half as manager Craig Shakespeare replaced Shinji Okazaki, and made the most of his opportunity as he helped to limit Atletico's influence in key areas.

However, Leicester City will now be without central defender Robert Huth for the return match as he picked up a yellow card in the second half. “Robert Huth’s suspension is a big blow for us, we knew we were walking a tightrope,” said Shakespeare after the match. “We are hoping Wes Morgan will recover in time, but it will be touch and go.” 

The UEFA Champions League final takes place in Cardiff on 3 June #Cardiff2017.