Real Madrid 3-0 Atletico Madrid: Ronaldo brilliance sends Los Blancos to brink of yet another final

Cristiano Ronaldo's second consecutve hattrick in the Uefa Champions League inspired Real Madrid to a commanding 3-0 win against their Madrid rivals Atletico Madrid in their semi-final first leg at the Santiago Bernabéu to almost but secure their place in the final ahead of the second leg next week.

In a tense game you need your big players to step up and that is exactly what Ronaldo did as he headed his side into an early lead to give the home side the perfect start in the game.

Then when the game became more open at the end of the second half, Ronaldo scored two more goals as he has all but put Zinedine Zidane's men into the final.

Ronaldo opened the scoring after a cagey start to the game

The game started very evenly with both teams closing each other down well in the opening minutes until the hosts gained control of the game and almost took the lead early on.

A brilliant passing move saw Dani Carvajal put through on goal but he was denied by Jan Oblak from close range before Karim Benzema failed to turn the rebound home either.

It didn't matter though as not long after, they did go in front after the visitors failed to clear a corner and then Ronaldo powered home a header from a mishit cross from Casemiro.

Oblak kept Simeone's men in the game at half-time

It was almost two a few minutes later but for a brilliant save from Oblak denied Raphaël Varane from heading home a Toni Kroos corner.

Then out of nothing, the visitors could have got an equaliser when Koke played a great ball through to Kévin Gameiro but he was denied by the unrushing Keylor Navas.

Apart from that though the visitors barely had a chance and Zidane's men went very close to scoring one of the goals of the season when Ronaldo crossed the ball into Benzema, who saw his overhead kick just go inches wide of the goal with Oblak getting nowhere near it.

The home side dominated the ball for the rest of the half but couldn't get a second as the visitors made sure that they went in at the break only one goal down and would have been hoping that they play much better in the second half and try and get a crucial away goal.

Tactial second half from both sides end's with Ronaldo completing his hattrick

The second half was a very tactial one early on as both teams cancelled each other out well with neither side really creating anything of note.

This was until Diego Simeone changed his team midway through the second half to try and get the away goal but in the end that was his undoing as it gave the home side much more space to counter attack.

This was due to the fact that one mistake from Felipe Luiz in defence allowed Ronaldo to smash the ball into the top corner of the net after Benzema gave him the ball.

After the second goal, the visitors went for it to try and give themselves some hope ahead of the second leg but that proved costly as Ronaldo, for the second knockout game in a row, completed his hattrick.

The goal was created by Lucas Vasquez, who came on as a second half substitute, as he beat his defender in the box and passed to Ronaldo, who took his time and cooly slotted the ball home to all but send Real through to the final ahead of the second leg next week at the expense of Atletico, who were poor on the night.