Cristiano Ronaldo did everything in his power to save Juventus in the Champions League.
It looked indisputable that the Old Lady were prematurely crashing out of Europe for the second season on the bounce last night when they went 2-0 down on aggregate against Lyon.
The French side had secured a 1-0 win in the first leg, played almost six months ago, courtesy of Lucas Tousart's winner and things got even better upon their trip to the Allianz Stadium.
Ronaldo's heroic display
That's because Lyon left their opponents needing to score three times after Memphis Depay's penalty, cheekily chipped down the middle, secured them an all-important away goal.
However, Juventus just happened to have a player leading their line for whom coming back from 2-0 down in the Champions League is their speciality.
Lyon qualify on away goals
So, just imagine the swelling feeling of deja vu when Ronaldo penned his name on the scoresheet before half-time, holding his nerve to fire a penalty past Anthony Lopes.
And then, just to make things even more incredible, Ronaldo propped up Juve to within a single goal of salvation by finding the net with a stunning long-range effort with his weak foot.
However, low and behold, there was to be no miracles on this occasion with the Turin-based side unable to build upon Ronaldo's heroics and avoid elimination by way of the away-goal rule.
Ronaldo's insane knockout stage record
It will go down in history as a tough night for Juventus, but one that was still successful for Ronaldo on an individual level and it served to underline just how crucial he is on the European stage.
Astonishingly, Ronaldo has scored all seven goals that Juventus have produced in the knockout stages of the Champions League since he joined the club in 2018.
Ronaldo delivered his legendary hat-trick against Atletico, before scoring home and away in the defeat to Ajax and now his recent Lyon displays makes it seven out of seven from six games.
If that's not an inditement of both Ronaldo's brilliance and Juventus' dependancy in the Champions League knockout rounds, then I don't know what is.
67 knockout stage goals
In terms of the knockout stages overall, however, Ronaldo shines brightest with a mind-blowing total of 67 goals that puts him lightyears above - you guessed it - Messi and his 46 conversions.
So, sure, it's another year of heartbreak for Juventus in the Champions League and another season goes by unfruitful in Ronaldo's quest to win 'Big Ears' with a third different club.
But you can't, by any estimations at all, say it was down to a lack of effort from CR7.
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