Juventus 0 Real Madrid 3
Ronaldo 3 Ronaldo 64 Marcelo 72
In March-April we’ve seen Real Madrid play more seriously.
They’re sharper now, much more focused.
That process started seven weeks ago against PSG.
It was a good first half in Turin last night, despite the fact that Juventus conceded that early goal to Ronaldo, who stabbed in a low cross to become the first footballer to score in 10 consecutive Champions League games.
Ronaldo started his career as a skinny winger who wasted time with fancy flicks and stepovers and then he became a spectacular gladiator and after that he matured into a powerhouse goal-poacher who takes a minimum number of touches.
Flamboyance had been replaced by minimalism: less is more.
Last night we were told that 75% of Ronaldo’s goals this season have come from first touches or headers. Most of his best work is done off the ball these days. His brain saves his legs for the moments that matter.
In short, Cristiano Ronaldo now now uses his experience to kill games with a flourish. he has become the executioner-in-chief for a team of champions with big game know-how, a team who have collectively learned how to navigate the difficult moments in games like this.
When Danny Carvajal crossed from the right into a space he knew his mate could access, Ronaldo stepped backwards and launched himself for an improbably high volley that gave Buffon no chance.
Tony Kroos launched a thunderbolt that hit the crossbar and Chiellini had a chance from a corner two minute s later but mistimed his header down and wide
Clearly, Max Allegri picked the wrong team by pairing Asamoah and Alex, two left backs. That formula wasted the talents of both players and Juventus had been outclassed long before Dybala got himself sent off.
The second half was like Cardiff. As I said then, the Old Lady needs a younger team.