Once again, Cristiano Ronaldo saved Real Madrid.
The Portuguese scored the 90th Champions League goal of his glittering career as Los Blancos beat Roma 2-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu to advance to the quarter-finals thanks to a 4-0 aggregate win.
James Rodriguez scored Madrid’s second as Zinedine Zidane’s team cruised into the last eight. You can check out the goals - and a gilt-edged miss by Ronaldo - by scrolling down the page.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250-word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
Roma missed a series of glorious opportunities to get their noses in front with the tie at 0-0. Former Premier League players Mohamed Salah and Edin Dzeko were the biggest culprits of failing to get the Italian side back into the tie.
But they were punished for their profligacy. In the 64th minute, Ronaldo turned home Lucas Vazquez’s cross and the 31-year-old turned provider four minutes later.
Check out Madrid's goals
Bearing down on goal, Ronaldo passed to James in space and the Colombian fired past Wojciech Szczesny.
Ronaldo should have made it 3-0 but he uncharacteristically missed a sitter.
No doubt he’ll be stewing over that when he goes to bed.
Zidane won’t have been entirely pleased by his team’s performance - Madrid were shaky in defence - but any thoughts that Ronaldo’s recent comments might disrupt the team were extinguished.
The Portuguese issued an apology to his teammates after saying: “If they were all as good as me, we’d be top,” following the 1-0 loss to Atletico Madrid in February.
Madrid are joined in the quarter-finals by Wolfsburg. The German side saw off Gent 1-0 (4-2 on aggregate) thanks to Andre Schurrle’s strike from Julian Draxler’s cross.
Barcelona and Bayern Munich - the favourites to contest the Champions League trophy at the San Siro in May - will attempt to reach the last eight next week.
Both have an advantage in their respective ties. Barcelona lead Arsenal 2-0 after their win at the Emirates Stadium while Bayern Munich scored two away goals against Juventus.
But they will be wary of Ronaldo and co. The Portuguese has scored 13 goals in this season’s tournament and the Champions League represents Madrid’s last opportunity at winning silverware this season.
They are 12 points behind Barcelona in La Liga and so, though Zidane won’t give up on the league, the Frenchman will realise the only chance he has of ending his first season in charge of Los Blancos with a trophy is through the European tournament.
He will have been pleased by Gareth Bale’s contribution. The Welshman made his first appearance in nearly two months on Saturday and played 60 minutes against Roma as he continues his recovery from a calf injury.
The 26-year-old could be Madrid’s secret weapon as they seek a third European title in three years. His return is massive for Madrid as they seek to topple Barcelona.