For the first time in Real Madrid’s 2017-18 Champions League campaign, Cristiano Ronaldo was unable to play the role of superhero.
The Portuguese forward had set an astonishing record by scoring in 11 successive matches in Europe’s premier club competition, stretching back to last June’s final against Juventus.
But for the first time this season, Ronaldo drew a blank in a Champions League match, failing to score in Madrid’s 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night.
The 33-year-old, who remains the bookmakers’ current favourite to secure a record-breaking sixth Ballon d’Or award last this year, did manage to beat Bayern goalkeeper Sven Ulreich with an excellent strike in the second half; however, the goal was correctly disallowed for handball in the build-up.
Other than that, Ronaldo never really looked like scoring. It was a rather underwhelming performance by his own impeccably high standards.
The Mirror handed Madrid’s No. 7 an unflattering 4/10 rating, adding: “The positive: Ronaldo has won more Real games in the Champions League than anyone else. The negative: Ronaldo failed to have any shots on target in the competition for the first time since February 2017.”
But that wasn’t the only disappointing stat that Ronaldo recorded in Munich.
Lampard sums up Ronaldo's performance v Bayern
Per BT Sport, the football legend registered just 28 touches in total against Jump Heynckes’ side, who’d somehow managed to keep arguably the world’s best player quiet.
When BT Sport host Gary Lineker put this to Frank Lampard, the Chelsea legend provided the perfect response.
“They did,” Lampard replied after Lineker said Bayern had kept Ronaldo quiet. “Maybe he was just human for the day - like the rest of us!
“It happens, but it just doesn’t happen to Cristiano Ronaldo which is maybe not so great for Bayern Munich in the second leg because you don’t get so many of those.” (Skip to 8:48 in the video)...
Criticise or doubt Ronaldo at your peril
Very well said, Frank.
After his performances throughout this season’s Champions League campaign, the last thing any of us should be doing is either criticising or doubting the experienced forward.
That he failed to score in the first leg will only make him even more determined to put that right back at the Bernabeu next week.
It wouldn’t be remotely surprising if Ronaldo ended up scoring a hat-trick in the next meeting between the two European heavyweights, firing Madrid through to next month’s Champions League final in the process.