Cristiano Ronaldo blasts a treble to rescue Real Madrid Champions League bid
Real Madrid 3-0 Wolfsburg (Madrid won 3-2 on agg.)
Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick sent Real Madrid into the semi-finals of the Champions League after the Spanish giants overturned a first-leg deficit in a 3-2 aggregate win over Wolfsburg.
Ronaldo, so often Real's saviour, cancelled out Wolfsburg's two-goal advantage within 88 first-half seconds at the Bernabeu and his free-kick in the 77th minute proved decisive.
The Germans would have felt optimistic of sealing a first-ever semi-final spot in Europe's elite club competition after winning 2-0 at the Volkswagen Arena, but they were simply unable to contain Ronaldo.
As anticipated, the visitors were penned deep inside their own half from the off and they nearly fell behind on the night inside five minutes when Sergio Ramos' header struck the bar.
An interception from Wolfsburg defender Dante prevented Ronaldo from running clean through on goal but there was no stopping the Real talisman in the 16th minute. Dani Carvajal's ball across goal allowed the Portuguese a simple tap-in.
Vieirinha's last-ditch header stopped Ronaldo from immediately doubling his tally but he did so from the following corner, running to the near post and flicking home a glancing header.
Wolfsburg might have gone ahead again in the tie, only for Real goalkeeper Keylor Navas to tip over Luiz Gustavo's shot.
Ramos hit the woodwork for the second time on the night, powering a header off the post from Toni Kroos' corner on the hour mark.
But Ronaldo completed his treble with just 13 minutes remaining as his free-kick went through a pitiful Wolfsburg wall.
Real closed out victory to move to within two matches of a second final in three years.
Real Madrid: Navas, Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo, Modric (Varane 90), Casemiro, Kroos, Bale, Benzema (Jese 84), Ronaldo.
Goals: Ronaldo 15, 17, 77
Subs not used: Rodríguez, Casilla, Vázquez, Isco, Danilo.
Wolfsburg: Benaglio, Vieirinha, Naldo, Dante, Rodríguez, Guilavogui (Dost 80), Gustavo, Pinto (Caligiuri), Arnold, Draxler (Kruse 32), Schürrle.
Subs not used: Schäfer, Träsch, Casteels, Knoche.
Man of the match: Ronaldo
Match rating: 8/10
Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary)