Atletico coach Simeone bullish after Champions League defeat

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his hat-trick against Atletico Madrid

Despite being wary ahead of the second leg the Real boss hailed the "unique" talents of Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portugal forward netted a hat-trick in the comprehensive Champions League semi-final win over their city rivals at the Bernabeu.

Ronaldo rifled an unstoppable shot into the top corner in the 73rd minute and claimed the matchball four minutes from time, meaning a grim catalogue of misery in this European fixture continued for Diego Simeone's side. It was his easiest goal of the night, he controlled Lucas Vazquez's cross, then fired home.

Barcelona pulled off the biggest comeback in Champions League history earlier this season by overcoming a 4-0 first leg deficit against Paris Saint-Germain.

Cristiano Ronaldo was the hero for Real Madrid last night but still had to plead with the fans for respect.

His first match in the competition since hitting his ton witnessed a finishing tour de force from the Portuguese, as Real Madrid took charge of their semi-final tie with their old nemesis Atleti.

Palestinian 'day of rage' in support of prisoners
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"There are few players who can do what Ronaldo has done and we all know that". "He knows that the games mount up over the season and over the years and that he has to rest from time to time, but I don't think that is the only reason".

Pepe would also give the goal to Ronaldo, telling Marca at the time: "Regardless of what the official match report says, the goal belongs to Cristiano". It is the fruit of the work of the whole team, my work, all the people who work in the club and the fans, who always support us. "These things happen. We are going to try until the end, until the final whistle is blown in the second leg".

The visitors' best chance came during the high on adrenaline first-half, when Gameiro broke through after seventeen minutes but the attempt was foiled by Navas as he tried to round the Madrid goalkeeper. It just fell to me to score the goals. Football has unexpected things.

"They were better and you have to congratulate them", Simeone said. We deserved a complete game against them. "We hope that it will happen".

It mattered little as Madrid made short work of Atletico's famously misery rearguard soon afterwards.

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