After last week’s thrilling upsets, surely FiveThirtyEight‘s probability models would hold this week, right?
Juventus, given only a 12% shot of advancing to the Champions League Quarterfinals, did just that, throttling Atlético Madrid 3-0 on a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick. They advance 3-2 on aggregate.
This is the first time Juventus has overcome an 0-2 deficit to advance in European championship soccer.
And say what you want about Ronaldo, and there’s plenty to say, but he produces on the biggest stages. This is exactly what Juventus paid for over the summer. Ronaldo’s first goal on a header in the 27th minute in between two defenders was world-class. His second (also on a header) in the 49th was classic Ronaldo. At that point, with the the game leveled at 2-2, the Ronaldo hat-trick felt all but inevitable. He secured it on a penalty kick in the 86th.
Cristiano Ronaldo beats Juanfran to power home the clutch header for Juventus and score on Atletico Madrid … again
— Planet Fútbol (@si_soccer) March 12, 2019
Juventus was -150 to win the match (albeit not by 3 goals), but advancing was still going to be a challenge. That is, unless you have Ronaldo.
Manchester City Obv
In Tuesday’s other game, Manchester City were 99%+ to advance and made Schalke 04 look like a rec team, swatting them away 7-0 to advance a staggering 10-2 on aggregate.
City are rolling at the right time. They had 72% possession, fired off 15 shots on goal (with 11 on target!) compared to Schalke’s 2 (1). Expect them to be odds-on favorites after the Champions League Quarterfinals draw on Friday at 6am ET.