Ronaldo brace not enough for Juventus, Man City knock out Real Madrid
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Ronaldo brace not enough for Juventus, Man City knock out Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace, including an unstoppable long-range goal, to give Juventus a 2-1 win over Olympique Lyonnais in the Champions League on Friday but it was not enough as the French side reached the quarter-finals on away goals.

After both sides converted contentious penalties in the first half, Ronaldo struck from out of the blue on the hour but Lyon clung on for a 2-2 aggregate draw to set up a quarter-final with Manchester City in next week's Final Eight tournament in Lisbon.

Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo was in fine form but couldn't force Juventus over the line.

Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo was in fine form but couldn't force Juventus over the line.Credit:AP

The defeat left Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri in an uncomfortable position as the Champions League title eluded the Turin side for another season.

Although Juventus have won Serie A for nine seasons in a row, they have not been able to get their hands on the Champions League trophy since 1996 when they won it for the second time.

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Despite continuing the domestic run, Sarri failed to give Juventus the flamboyant touch the club had been looking for as well as missing out on their main goal.

Ronaldo looks on after a chance goes begging against Lyon.

Ronaldo looks on after a chance goes begging against Lyon.Credit:AP

"We knew we needed courage, talent and a little bit of fortune," said Lyon coach Rudi Garcia. "We played a very good first leg as well but, with Cristiano Ronaldo, we knew we could have been knocked out at any moment.

"We don't need to put limits for us. We are one of the best eight teams in Europe, we know Manchester City are a better team but it's just one game, so our goal is the semi-final."

It was an uphill struggle for Juve from the moment they conceded an away goal in the 12th minute, albeit in controversial circumstances.

Rodrigo Bentancur appeared to get the ball cleanly off Houssem Aouar but referee Felix Zwayer pointed to the spot and chose not to look at the incident on the pitch-side monitor.

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Memphis Depay converted with a cheeky Panenka-style penalty which sent Wojciech Szczesny the wrong way.

Ronaldo saw a free kick palmed away by Anthony Lopes but it was another controversial penalty which provided the hosts with their equaliser.

Miralem Pjanic's free kick struck Depay's elbow in the wall and, although his arm was close to his body, the referee gave another penalty, again without consulting the pitch-side monitor. Ronaldo converted.

Juventus seemed to be making little progress after half-time until Ronaldo found space for a shot and blasted the ball past Lopes from 25 metres on the hour.

After that, it became almost a Ronaldo one-man show as he set up a chance which Gonzalo Higuain headed over, then headed over himself and drilled a free kick into the wall. But even he could not find the winner.

City cruise past Real

City qualified by beating visitors Real Madrid 2-1 for a 4-2 aggregate triumph, with scorers Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus taking advantage of two dreadful errors by Raphael Varane.

Night to forget ... Raphael Varane.

Night to forget ... Raphael Varane.Credit:Getty

Having beaten the 13-times European champions home and away, City will now head to Lisbon for the Final Eight tournament where they will face Olympique Lyonnais, who progressed on away goals against Juventus in Friday's other game, on August 15.

Real, trailing 2-1 from the first-leg were without suspended skipper and defensive lynchpin Sergio Ramos at The Etihad and it showed, with the Spaniards looking shaky at the back throughout.

Madrid made a disastrous start, gifting City a ninth minute opener. French international Varane, having received a pass inside his own area from goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, was robbed by Jesus and the striker slipped the ball to Sterling who slotted home his 100th goal for the club.

Raheem Sterling celebrates his opener.

Raheem Sterling celebrates his opener.Credit:AP

There was a strong response from the Spanish champions, urged on by Ramos from the stands, with City keeper Ederson forced into fine saves to keep out efforts from Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard.

Ederson could do nothing, however, to stop a header from Benzema in the 28th minute, the Frenchman rising to power home from a pin-point cross from Rodrygo.

But Real’s defensive uncertainty was highlighted again three minutes before the interval when Courtois cleared straight to Kevin De Bruyne who quickly fed Phil Foden, although the youngster’s shot flashed just wide.

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City created plenty more chances after the break but lacked the killer touch and it took another piece of calamitous defending by Varane to decide the tie in the 68th minute.

Having initially failed to head clear a long ball, Varane's attempted header back to Courtois was too weak and Jesus was alert again, nipping in to flick it past the Belgian keeper and make the score 2-1 on the night.

Zinedine Zidane had never lost a knockout tie in the Champions League as Real manager, having won his previous 12 encounters while winning the trophy three times, and Spaniard Guardiola noted the significance of the victory.

"It is important. We beat them twice. Zinedine Zidane never lost a knockout game. You see the calm and personality they play with, they are good," he said. "We are here to try and win the Champions League. It is one step. If we think that is enough we will show how small we are. If you want to win you have to beat the big clubs."

The three-month stoppage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic means that the remainder of the Champions League will be played at neutral venues in one-legged showdowns from August 13 to 24 (AEST).

Reuters

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