Cristiano Ronaldo, record-breaker that he is, is the first player to score in ten successive Champions League matches.
OH. MY. WORD! 😱
Cristiano Ronaldo with an outrageous overhead kick!
Insane! 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/PYtT0uRTQ9
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 3, 2018
Ronnie’s second here, an outrageous overhead kick 64 minutes into this tie, is one of the finest goals in European Cup history.
Not quite as important as the one picked out of the sky by his coach Zinedine Zidanein the 2002 final against Bayer Leverkusen.
Only a fraction short of the shimmering solo goal scored by Lionel Messi when he put Real to bed in the 2011 semi-final at the Bernabeu.
All the same, this belting strike is not too far behind.
Ronaldo’s goal, recreating Pele’s famous overhead in Escape to Victory, was textbook stuff.
The shape, the body, the angles, the timing, the execution: everything was in place.
The reaction, stunned silence followed by respectful applause from 40,000 Juve fans standing open-mouthed, was the only appropriate response to something as good as this.
By then he had already scored his first, throwing out a leg to divert Isco’s cross beyond Buffon just three minutes in.
Ronnie’s hot streak began last season, when the GOAT scored twice in the 4-1 destruction of Juventus down in Cardiff.
Only a fool or a betting man would dare to predict when and where this jaw-dropping run will come to an end, if ever.
The Real Madrid forward is bossing European football.
The Champions League, a trophy he won once with Manchester United
and followed up with another three with these Galacticos, is his plaything.
Last night, he toyed with Juve again.
The stats are piling up, with Ronnie scoring his 23nd goal in his last 12 games when he flicked Isco’s angled ball beyond Buffon.
It was a magical move.
There was sprinkling of stardust, a giddy combination that really got going when Marcelo upped the tempo with a clever pass into Isco out on the left.
He was free as a bird, given time and space to pick out Ronaldo’s run as he made his way in front of Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli.
The finish was on point.
His celebration was standard Ronnie, sliding to his knees in front of Juve’s over-worked ultras up in the curva sud.
For the Bianconeri, this quarter-final tie was already heading south.
The second leg, in the Bernabeu next Wednesday, is already beyond them.
Juve will need something remarkable, an upgrade on the fly-by-night job when they beat Tottenham 2-1 at Wembley last month.
Real, with Zizou trying to pull off a hat-trick of Champions League triumphs, are different gear.
They knocked out Paris Saint Germain in the second round, cuffing Unai Emery’s side 5-2 on aggregate to set up another meeting with.
This, the exact same 11 players who lined up for the 2017 final, dished out another mauling.
There were chances for more before Ronnie goes his second, with Raphael Varane vexed when he sent Toni Kroos’ corner way over Buffon’s crossbar.
Kroos, playing every imaginable pass from his central midfield station, smashed the frame of Juve’s goal ten minutes before the break.
By then Juve had made some inroads, with Real keeper Keylor Navas saving well from Gonzalo Higuain’s header.
Then there was the scream for handball, a cry for Turkish ref Cuneyt Cakir to give it when Varane made contact inside the area.
Before the half was out they were screaming for a penalty again when Paulo Dybala threw himself flamboyantly to the turf.
The Argentinian was booked, and deserved to be.
Real skipper Sergio Ramos will miss the return, nibbling away at Dybala ten minutes into the second half. They can make do without him now.
Dybala took the free-kick himself, diverted away from safety when his left-footer cannoned off the wall.
It was his last act, sent off after 66 minutes for a stupid, petulant and costly foul.
Juve were falling apart.
Marcelo went on to score the third, given the simple job of tapping home when Ronnie dinked a lob wedge over Buffon and into the path of Real’s rampant left-back.
They are as good as into the last four, setting up the possibility of reaching yet another final with this emphatic win.
Ronnie was in the Real side four years ago when they overcame the yips to beat Atletico to claim the fabled Decima.
After this, he has one of his own.