Champions League: Ronaldo torments Atletico Madrid again, while Man City bulldozes into quarterfinals

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Joey Gulino
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Cristiano Ronaldo. That’s really all there is to say. (Omnisport)
Cristiano Ronaldo. That’s really all there is to say. (Omnisport)

For the fifth time in six seasons, Atletico Madrid’s Champions League campaign has ended at the hands of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Even after he transferred to Juventus, his deed to Atleti’s fortunes remains binding.

Ronaldo recorded a hat trick to overturn a two-goal deficit and lead Juventus past Atleti 3-0 and into the Champions League quarterfinals on Tuesday in Turin.

Elsewhere, Manchester City steamrolled Schalke 7-0 and eliminating any hint of drama an unexpectedly close first leg engendered.

Juventus had Ronaldo, and Atletico Madrid didn’t

It’s simple. It’s layman. It easy.

It’s also accurate.

Players of Ronaldo’s caliber – which is to say one of the five greatest players ever, and probably a lot closer to No. 1 than some of us will admit – simply turn the tide of matches and seasons on their ability, and Tuesday was one of those instances.

Unlucky for Atletico Madrid, it happened against them again.

Ronaldo’s first goal came in the 27th minute on a header off a cross from Federico Bernardeschi:

His second was more controversial, but ultimately correct. Joao Cancelo floated a set piece into the box, where Ronaldo snapped another header toward net, and Atleti’s Jan Oblak was a fraction too late to clear it off the line:

Goal-line technology correctly ruled the ball had crossed, and suddenly Atletico’s 2-0 win in the first leg was erased.

Bernardeschi then drew a huge penalty in the waning minutes, thanks to a shocking lapse of judgment from Angel Correa, whose shove in the back gave Ronaldo a chance from the spot.

Three guesses what happened next:

Here’s the penalty whistle if you want to judge for yourself:

It’s another incredible night courtesy of Ronaldo, and his teammates were more than capable in support. Juventus dominated play against Atleti for vast stretches of this round of 16 clash and was the deserving winner.

Ronaldo beat Atleti in the 2014 and 2016 Champions League finals with Real Madrid, and his Real Madrid sides also ended their city rival’s European campaigns in 2015 and 2017.

There’s no two ways about it: That’s going to haunt Atleti. If there’s any consolation, the club can now focus on La Liga, where Barcelona’s seven-point lead is solid but perhaps slightly tenuous.

Manchester City terminates Schalke with extreme prejudice

Maybe the German side ticked off the reigning Premier League champions.

Who knows why City named the score so ruthlessly against Schalke, after a 3-2 first leg that was closer than many expected. But it happened, and if you’re a fan of U.S. international Weston McKennie or Schalke itself, it was ugly.

Sergio Aguero scored the first two goals within 10 minutes of halftime, and six different Citizens scored in all, also including Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus.

This is the level of skill and execution they were working with:

Sane got the best of his former club once again with his goal and this dime to Sterling:

Schalke has had its struggles in the Bundesliga this season, currently roped to the relegation battle instead of the top-four race. Still, this side was in the Champions League for a reason, and that reason was not because it was ripe for such a dismantling.

That’s what Pep Guardiola’s side can do to you. That’s what should have the rest of Europe taking notice this campaign.

Joey Gulino is the editor of Yahoo Soccer and moonlights as a writer. Follow him on Twitter at @JGulinoYahoo.

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