Real Madrid earned a huge 3-0 victory against Atletico Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals after an impressive hat-trick by Cristiano Ronaldo. Here are three takeaways from the game.
- Zidane's men can't be stopped when they give their best. This team has lacked consistency all throughout the season, dropping games they should've won —Eibar, Las Palmas— and letting Barcelona escape with a late win. However, they proved that when they play 90 minutes of cohesive, hard-fought football, they can beat anyone in European football. When Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema help defensively while Modric and Kroos are willing to work hard and aid Casemiro, good things happen for this team.
- Ronaldo still has it. I admit it. I though Cristiano Ronaldo had entered his decline after his poor start to the season. The Portuguese star has scored eight goals over the last three matches (!) Real have played in the Champions League. There's nothing else you can say about that.
- Isco played well but wasted a good chance to cement his place in the XI. The Spanish midfielder was given a tough role as he was asked to help Modric, Kroos and Casemiro while being Madrid's facilitator on offense. That's why he was exhausted in the 55th minute. Again, he completed a decent performance, but Isco had a chance to prove he is the starter this team needs even when Gareth Bale comes back from his injury and wasted it. He will most likely have another shot at that starting spot, though.