Real Madrid 3-0 Atlético Madrid

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

Ronaldo scored a hat trick to reach 400 goals with Madrid and lead the defending champions to a commanding 3-0 win over city rival Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal on Tuesday.

He scored with a header in the 10th minute, with a strike into the top corner in the 73rd and a close-range shot in the 86th to give Madrid a comfortable lead going into next week’s second leg at Atletico’s Vicente Calderon Stadium.

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“We played a great match,” Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said. “It’s not easy to score three times against such a difficult opponent and keep a clean sheet.”

The result left Atletico close to yet another disappointing elimination against the crosstown rival, following defeats in the Champions League in the last three seasons.

“We’re going to try and do something practically impossible next week,” Atletico coach Diego Simeone said. “We’re Atletico Madrid and maybe, just maybe, we can do it.”

Madrid, which is looking to reach its third final in four seasons, was in control from the start at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and took advantage of Ronaldo’s impressive form. He had scored five in the two legs of the quarterfinals against Bayern Munich, including a hat trick in the second leg at the Bernabeu.

 

Monaco hosts Juventus in the first leg of the other semifinal on Wednesday.

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