Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri accepted there was little else to do but admire Cristiano Ronaldo’s ‘extraordinary goal’ after holders Real Madrid moved a step closer to the semi-finals of the Champions League with a 3-0 win in Turin.
The Portuguese forward fired the La Liga side ahead just three minutes into the quarter-final first-leg tie – before producing a moment of pure brilliance to double the lead just after the hour with an overhead kick which even had the home fans applauding.
Juve saw forward Paulo Dybala sent off for a second yellow card before Marcelo added Real’s third away goal in the 72nd minute to all but end the contest ahead of the second leg back in Madrid.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a stunning overhead kick to put Real Madrid 3-0 up against Juventus
Ronaldo’s effort will surely go down as one of the greatest ever Champions League goals
Ronaldo’s acrobatic effort proved unstoppable for Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon
Such was the calibre of finish for Ronaldo’s second goal, Los Blancos coach Zinedine Zidane was left shaking his head in disbelief, while the home fans clapped in stunned admiration.
‘I don’t know if Cristiano’s goal is the best in the history of football, but it’s certainly an extraordinary goal. You can only congratulate him for what he’s doing at present,’ Allegri said at a press conference.
‘However, I am disappointed about the third goal, because at that point we still could have turned the tie in the second leg. Now it will be impossible.’
Massimiliano Allegri was dejected after his side’s Champions League hopes took a major blow
Allegri added, quoted on www.uefa.com: ‘Real Madrid were devastating with their final ball. You don’t win three Champions League titles in four years by accident.
‘We have to think about the league (Serie A) and then go to Madrid to play our game.’
Ronaldo had became the first player to score in 10 consecutive Champions League matches when Real swept into an early lead.
Veteran Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was not surprised to see Ronaldo produce such a sublime finish.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE TOP SCORERS THIS SEASON
Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid – 14
Wissam Ben Yedder – Sevilla – 8
Roberto Firmino – Liverpool – 7
Harry Kane – Tottenham – 7
Edinson Cavani – PSG – 7
‘At his best? No I think he was the usual Ronaldo. Messi and him can be compared to Maradona and Pele for what they have been doing season after season,’ he said.
‘We made a few mistakes, but it can happen when you face the best.
‘We feel a real sense of disappointment because we probably won’t qualify. That’s a real shame, but against some teams you have to be calm and congratulate them, because objectively they’re a stronger side.’
Real Madrid head coach Zidane, meanwhile, must do without captain Sergio Ramos for the second leg after the defender’s yellow card.
‘It was a great game – it’s not easy to win 3-0 here. We suffered a bit at times, but that’s because you have to suffer here. Going forward, though, we always know how to cause teams problems,’ the Frenchman said after his return to Turin.
‘Cristiano is in good form at the moment. His team-mates are very happy with him. We need to enjoy tonight, but then think about the hard work ahead of next week because Juve won’t give up.’