Christiano Ronaldo scores twice but Lyon knock out Juventus

Portuguese star can't save Italian champions 
Christiano Ronaldo scores twice but Lyon knock out Juventus

CRESTFALLEN: Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo can’t hide his disappointment in Turin. Picture: AP Photo/Antonio Calanni

JUVENTUS 2 LYON 1 (2-2 aggregate, Lyon win on away goals)

Cristiano Ronaldo may return to Portugal next week, but it will be as an interested spectator rather than a participant in the Champions League final stages, as his Juventus side were knocked out by Lyon.

Rudy Garcia’s side finished seventh when Ligue 1 ended early, but they had already established a 1-0 lead over Juventus in the first leg of their last 16 tie, and their 2-1 defeat in Turin meant victory on away goals and a quarter-final meeting with Manchester City in Lisbon next week.

Although Ronaldo scored twice, it was a bad night for the Old Lady, with Lyon making the perfect start by doubling their aggregate lead when Memphis Depay put them ahead with a 12th minute penalty. It was contentious enough for the VAR to deliberate long and hard before agreeing with referee Zwayer that Rodrigo Bentancur had tripped Houssem Aouar as he ran in on goal, even though replays suggested the Juve midfielder won the ball cleanly. Depay was composure personified, though, as he clipped his penalty over Wojciech Szczesny, Panenka-style. It was the former Man United striker’s sixth goal in six Champions League games this season, and meant Juventus needed to score at least three goals to proceed to the last eight.

While Maurizio Sarri chomped furiously on his cigarette, Ronaldo did what he could to force an equaliser. The Portuguese superstar failed with two free-kicks, however, so when a third presented itself shortly before half-time, he handed over duties to Miralem Pjanic. The Bosnian’s shot hit Depay’s arm, which was tucked into his body, but again referee Zwayer made a quick judgement, and VAR backed it up.

Ronaldo was as nerveless as Depay had been half an hour earlier, sending Anthony Lopes the wrong way with a low shot that nestled in the back of the net.

Now it was game on. Juve needed one goal to draw level on aggregate, two to go through. Cometh the hour, cometh the man. With 59 minutes elapsed, Ronaldo rolled back the years with a strike of the sort that used to light up Old Trafford and the Bernabeu. Taking the ball 25 yards from goal, he cut in from the right to a more central position, shifted the ball from right to left foot, and let fly with a shot that curled past the Lyon defence. Lopes got a hand to the ball, but all he could do was divert it on to the post and in. Juve were ahead for the first time, and level on aggregate.

Sarri turned to his bench but ignored Paulo Dybala and instead sent on Aaron Ramsey for Pjanic, and when the injury-hit Argentinian finally appeared in the 71st minute, he limped off again soon afterwards.

Chances came and went. Bonucci and Ronaldo missed the Lyon goal with headers from corners, while visiting substitute Moussa Dembele felt he should have been awarded a penalty during a goalmouth scramble 15 minutes from time.

The tension levels rose, with Lyon on the brink of a famous victory. Having been generous in awarding penalties earlier, Zwayer started to dish out yellow cards freely, including one for Sarri.

Halfway through six minutes of stoppage time, Ronaldo had one last chance of glory but his 25-yard free-kick went straight into Lyon’s wall. Garcia’s side go through to meet City next week.

JUVENTUS 4-4-2: Szczesny 6; Cuadrado 6 (Danilo 71), De Ligt 6, Bonucci 6, Alex Sandro 7; Bernardeschi 6 (Dybala 71 {Olivieri 84}), Bentancur 6, Pjanic 6 (Ramsey 61), Rabiot 6; Ronaldo 7, Higuain 5, 

LYON 3-5-2: Lopes 7; Denayer 6 (Andersen 61), Marcelo 7, Marcal 6; Dubois 6 (Tete 89), Caqueret 6, Bruno Guimares 7, Aouar 7 (Mendes 89), Cornet 6; Depay 7 (Dembele 66), Ekambi 6 (Reine-Adelaide 66)

Ref: Felix Zwayer (Germany)

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