Cristiano Ronaldo: 'Champions League semi-final is not over'

  • Cristiano Ronaldo: 'Champions League semi-final is not over'

Cristiano Ronaldo: 'Champions League semi-final is not over'

MADRID (AP) - Another impressive performance by Cristiano Ronaldo has left Real Madrid on the verge of another Champions League final.

The game settled down significantly after that point, with scoring chances at a premium, while Nacho came on for Real Madrid at half-time after Carvajal appeared to pick up an injury.

There was no disputing Ronaldo's latter two goals Tuesday. Brazilian defender Marcelo had the victor in the 86 minute.

Real, an 11-time victor, is looking to become the first team to defend the Champions League title since the competition changed to the current format in 1992. Isco is expected to start in the midfield in Bale's place ahead of James Rodriguez and Marco Asensio.

Another fan, Mario, predicted a 3-0 victory.

Atletico look like they will have defensive problems at the Bernabeu, with Jose Gimenez and Juanfran likely to miss out.

The Portugal forward headed Real in front on 10 minutes, then in the second half lashed the ball in from the edge of the Atletico penalty area, before Ronaldo turning in a Lucas Vazquez cut-back on 86 minutes to complete his treble. The bigger team in Madrid has prevented Diego Simeone's squad from two Champions League finals in the past four years, both by narrow margins.

"I'm not asking them to name streets after me, the only thing I ask is that they don't boo me here", Ronaldo told Spanish TV station Antena 3.

Atletico Madrid: Oblak; Hernandez, Godín, Savić, Filipe Luis; Niguez, Koke, Gabi, Carrasco; Griezmann, Gameiro. Pepe, who is now out injured, had the Real goal. The Spanish clubs meet in the UCL for the fourth straight season, with Real winning on each occasion.

Zidane will also be without star attacker Gareth Bale, who once again picked up an injury, in what has been a tumultuous campaign for him.

Atletico is looking for its first championship. Real would win 4-1 in extra time. Real needed a stoppage time equalizer en route to winning the 2014 final, scored a late victor in the quarter-finals a year later and edged last season's final on a penalty shootout.

Should Atletico find the net first, statistically Real should not be overly concerned, having so far conceded first in all four of their knockout matches but going on to win each match regardless, while all of their last 11 goals in the CL have been scored after half-time.

Ronaldo is the -115 favourite to be an anytime goal scorer.