Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo added further sheen to an already glistening reputation by staying ice cool to thrash home a decisive 98th-minute penalty in Wednesday’s enthralling Champions League quarter-final second leg with Juventus.
The Portuguese has been at his devastating best in the competition this season to silence his doubters after a poor start to the domestic campaign and there was an air of inevitability that he would have the final say at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Ronaldo had struck one of the greatest goals in the competition’s history in the first leg as Real opened an apparently healthy 3-0 lead in the tie only to see that advantage wiped out in remarkable circumstances on Wednesday.
Two goals from Juventus’s Mario Mandzukic and one from Blaise Matuidi took the tie to the verge of extra time.
Ronaldo, however, had other ideas.
The Portuguese had scored in his previous nine games in the competition this season and had been thwarted several times by Juve keeper Gianluigi Buffon but kept looking for the crucial goal.
He helped force the last-gasp penalty by heading the ball towards Lucas Vazquez, who was felled by Medhi Benatia, and was then made to wait an age before taking the spot kick as the Juventus protests led to Buffon receiving his marching orders.