Monday 21 August 2017

Cristiano Ronaldo brace guides Real Madrid to Champions League victory

Juventus 1 Real Madrid 4

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid celebrates as the final whistle is blown during the UEFA Champions League Final between Juventus and Real Madrid at National Stadium of Wales on June 3, 2017 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid celebrates as the final whistle is blown during the UEFA Champions League Final between Juventus and Real Madrid at National Stadium of Wales on June 3, 2017 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)

Simon Peach

Cristiano Ronaldo's brace helped Real Madrid retain the Champions League in surprisingly comprehensive fashion, wrapping up a historic 12th continental crown.by overcoming Juventus in a memorable Cardiff showdown.

The long, arduous journey to European glory culminated under the roof in Wales, where Zinedine Zidane's men showed their killer instinct to win the title for the third time in four seasons.

Juventus started the brighter and Mario Mandzukic's overhead kick will live long in the memory, but Ronaldo's brace along with efforts from Casemiro and Marco Asensio left Real celebrating a surprisingly comfortable 4-1 win.

Juventus conceded more in Cardiff than the rest of their continental run combined, seeing them slump to a fifth straight final defeat as Madrid became the first side in the Champions League era to retain the trophy.

It was a chastening end to a night the Bianconeri had started superbly.

After Ronaldo opened the scoring by turning home Real's first shot on goal, Mandzukic scored a sublime overhead kick - surely one of the greatest ever goals ever to grace this stage.

But Juventus' dreams of a first Champions League title in 21 years ended in heartbreak as Madrid upped the ante, regaining their lead as Casemiro's 30-yard drive flew home via a deflection.

Matters were quickly compounded as Ronaldo turned home at the near post to take his goal tally for club and country to 600.

Gareth Bale came on late in his hometown final and soon saw Real captain Sergio Ramos' theatrical reaction earning substitute Juan Cuadrado a second booking, with Asensio compounding matters at the death.

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