Real star hits a brilliant hat-trick against Atletico
Ronaldo headed home in the 10th minute after Casemiro’s bouncing cross caught out Atletico’s defence, before putting his team on the verge of another final appearance after the break.
Karim Benzema set him up to smash home his second on the half-volley in the 73rd minute and he finished from close range with four minutes remaining as Atletico offered little resistance.
“We are very happy with the game, with the three goals and above all keeping a clean sheet at home,” said Real coach Zinedine Zidane, after taking a huge step closer to guiding his side towards becoming the first to successfully defend the European Cup since AC Milan in 1990.
Yet the prospect of a La LigaChampions League double was also on his mind with his side currently lying in second place in the Spanish title race on the same number of points as Barcelona but with a game in hand.
“I’m very proud of everyone. We are going to enjoy it, rest, and then tomorrow start thinking about our game in La Liga (at Granada on Saturday),” said Zidane.
The visitors’ best chance came
Ballon d’Or winner moved from United to Real in a then-record £80 million deal.
Griezmann, who has scored 25 goals in all competitions this season, has been tipped to break the world record fee this summer.
And United, who shattered the record last year with their £89 million acquisition of Griezmann’s compatriot Paul Pogba, are hot favourites to land the 26year-old as Mourinho attempts to bolster his striking options. during an intense first half, when Kevin Gameiro broke through after 17 minutes but was foiled by Keylor Navas as he tried to round the Real goalkeeper.
Diego Godin lunged in to divert an Antoine Griezmann free kick inches over the crossbar as Atletico sought an equaliser but after that it was one-way traffic as Madrid imposed their dominance on their neighbours once more in European competition.
Real captain Sergio Ramos was lucky to escape punishment after crashing his forearm into the back of Lucas Hernandez’s head shortly before halftime, but Atletico’s headache after this defeat will last longer than the Frenchman’s bruise.
Simeone’s side did not offer their usual fight in the second half as Madrid killed the game off, and perhaps the tie, with Ronaldo, playing in a centre-forward role alongside Benzema, the executioner.
His unstoppable strike from the edge of the box doubled Real’s lead and he completed his hat-trick shortly before the end after good work by substitute Lucas Vazquez.
Ronaldo also scored all three goals as Real beat Atletico by the same scoreline at the Vicente Calderon in La Liga last November and Tuesday’s treble means Atletico’s final European game there next week is now likely to be a sombre affair.
Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann has been heavily linked with a summer transfer to Manchester United.