With a Champions League semi-final on the line, Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up to score a hat-trick for a 3-0 score against VFL Wolfsburg to advance Madrid by 3-2 on aggregate.
Wolfsburg came calling in the Bernabeu with a 2-0 aggregate lead after the first leg, only to have Ronaldo equalize it in the space of 86 seconds in the first half.
The Bundesliga team also had themselves to blame; the first goal they conceded was a show of their poor defensive work. 16 minutes after the starting whistle, Dani Carvajal makes a run and fires a cross that somehow slipped past 3 Wolfsburg defenders to find Ronaldo unmarked right in front of goal.
Ronaldo, whose free kick was deflected by a Wolfsburg wall a minute later, rose up once again for a Carvajal cross from the corner, and heads it in from the far post.
Then, 13 minutes from time where both clubs played in more even odds, Ronaldo fires a free kick that penetrates through a lacking Wolfsburg wall, allowing the Portugese international to claim his hat-trick and Madrid to win the quarter-final game.
Perhaps this was no coincidence; Ronaldo had issued a rallying call to Madrid supporters before the match, urging them to play their part on what could be a “magical, perfect night” at the Bernabeu.
And it was no surprise that Real supporters had seen a number of disappointments and underwhelming performances from their team this season. But as the Los Blancos players left the pitch, everyone stood up in applause.
After eight failed attempts at European comebacks over the past decade, Madrid had finally succeeded, and their rosy reward was a sixth successive Champions league semi-final.