Late Ronaldo penalty puts Madrid into CL semifinals

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In dramatic fashion, Real Madrid saved themselves from an embarrassing collapse - and probably saved Zinedine Zidane's job.

The Italy defender was scathing in his assessment of referee Michael Oliver, who awarded a stoppage-time penalty and sent off goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon for dissent as reigning champions Madrid advanced to the semi-finals 4-3 on aggregate despite Wednesday's 3-1 loss.

"It wasn't a odd game, but we didn't expect to concede in the first minute".

A win for Madrid will lift them above Valencia into third in the table, while Malaga realistically need a win to have any chance of avoiding relegation.

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"He's a big game player", the pundit said on ITV's Champions League highlights show. The referee blew the whistle and you can't change that. It wasn't to punish Gareth, I just didn't like the way the whole team was playing.

"We're left with a bitter taste after coming within reach of extra time and being able to really go for it".

The crowd at the Bernabeu stadium, perhaps remembering the ovation Juventus fans gave Ronaldo after his spectacular bicycle kick goal in the first leg, cheered the Italian veteran as he walked off the pitch.

The Serie A giants had fought their way back from a 3-0 deficit to pull level, but with extra-time looming Cristiano Ronaldo managed to clinch a insane win via the penalty spot. "We think we played well and deserved over the two games to go through". They approached the game in the right way and we didn't.

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"The pulse increased, but I calmed down, and I knew I'd be decisive", he continued.

Paying tribute to star man Ronaldo, "Zizou" enthused, "Cristiano (Ronaldo) is used to these situations". Cristiano Ronaldo stepped and smashed the penalty kick past the visitor's substitute goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny to seal the win.

Joining Real, Liverpool and Roma in the last four were Bayern Munich, who relied upon defensive grit to grind out a goalless draw with La Liga outfit Sevilla and progress 2-1 on aggregate. "We can only just keep doing what we are doing, keep doing our work".

AS admitted the European champions went from "the panic to the semi-finals", while Marca simply believed: "It was a penalty".

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