Ronaldo brought Real Madrid back from the dead in the Champions League with three key goals, which were enough to oust Wolfsburg in the quarterfinals.
Wolfsburg entered Tuesday with a 2–0 lead on aggregate in the Champions League quarterfinals against Real Madrid. Cristiano Ronaldo made it evaporate within 17 minutes and then did one better to put Real Madrid through to the semifinals.
Ronaldo scored goals in the 16th and 17th minutes for Real Madrid in Tuesday's second leg and then capped his fifth career Champions League hat trick with a free kick to give Real Madrid a 3-2 aggregate victory and a place in the final four.
The goals marked Ronaldo's 14th, 15th and 16th of this season's Champions League campaign, giving him an all-time record 93 in the competition. His single-season record is 17 goals.
Ronaldo's first goal came on a tap-in, getting Real Madrid's comeback started:
His second came moments later on a header off a corner kick:
The two goals leveled the quarterfinal on aggregate. Later, Sergio Ramos nearly gave Real Madrid the lead, but Wolfsburg goalkeeper Diego Benaglio somehow kept out Ramos's header attempt, that hit off the post and straddled the goal line.
Ronaldo took matters into his own right foot with less than 15 minutes to go, though, squeezing a free kick through a pair of defenders and tucking it inside the right post.
Real Madrid is joined by Manchester City in the semifinals, after the Premier League club ousted PSG 3-2 on aggregate as well. Barcelona and Atletico Madrid meet for one semifinal place Wednesday, while Bayern Munich and Benfica battle for the other spot.
- Stanley Kay