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Ronaldo hat trick springs Juventus comeback (video)

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Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat trick, backing up his trash talk and leading Juventus to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.

It was a 3-0 second leg win for Juventus over Ronaldo’s old Spanish rivals Atletico Madrid in Turin, stunning the stingy defense he’s burdened so many times.

Ronaldo mimicked Diego Simeone’s “bollocks” celebration after putting Juve in front.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

VAR looked like it could become a part of the festivities within four minutes of kickoff, as Cristiano Ronaldo’s lunge at Jan Oblak caught ball but then sent him through the keeper before Leonardo Bonucci punched the ball into the goal.

But nothing came of it, and the match remained scoreless.

Antoine Griezmann tested Wojciech Szczesny with a long range effort, but the keeper saved the ball from the back of the goal.

Ronaldo then put Juve ahead with his head, powering through Juanfran to finish an Emre Can cross. 1-0, game on, courtesy of Ronaldo’s 122nd UEFA Champions League goal.

Ronaldo headed wide just before halftime, and it truly felt like Juve was headed for a comeback.

His forehead did the trick just after the break, goal line technology defying what looked like an amazing Jan Oblak save.

A lull in chances snapped when substitute Moise Kean just missed with an effort across goal.

Fiorentina-bred Federico Bernardeschi then won a penalty to give Juve its first lead of the tie, with Ronaldo converted the hat trick.

Atleti rebound from Dortmund debacle to take La Liga lead

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Atletico Madrid bounced back from its worst defeat under coach Diego Simeone by beating Real Sociedad 2-0 to take the lead of the Spanish league on Saturday.

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Atletico was one point ahead of Barcelona and Espanyol. Barcelona can reclaim the lead on Sunday when it hosts Real Madrid in the season’s first clasico.

Atletico produced the convincing home victory over Sociedad three days after it lost at Borussia Dortmund 4-0 in the Champions League, its biggest loss in 390 matches since Simeone took charge in 2011.

Atletico hemmed Sociedad in its own area for most of the first half until Diego Godin broke through just before halftime when he swept in a clearance of a pass by Angel Correa.

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Fellow defender Filipe Luis added a second goal as a substitute in the 61st when he cut inside from the left flank and fired into the far corner of the net.

Simeone made four changes to his starting 11 from the collapse at Dortmund, starting Correa, Rodrigo Hernandez, Stefan Savic and Santiago Arias instead of Filipe Luis, Thomas Lemar, Thomas Partey and Juanfran Torres.

“I was convinced that my players would respond in the best way possible and once again they showed the inner strength of this team,” Simeone said.

Atleti wins UEFA Super Cup’s Madrid Derby

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Diego Costa scored twice in regulation and Saul Niguez notched a beautiful goal in extra time as Atletico Madrid beat Real Madrid 4-2 on Wednesday in the UEFA Super Cup.

Koke added a 103rd minute marker in Tallinn, Estonia, to round out the scoring for Atleti, which claimed its third Super Cup since 2010.

Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos scored for Real, which had won the last two Super Cups. The match pits the winners of the UEFA Champions League and Europa League.

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It took less than a minute for Atleti to take the lead, with Costa winning a 50/50 over Sergio Ramos, then rounding Raphael Varane before blasting past Keylor Navas high and tight. Not a bad trio to count amongst your victims.

Real equalized when Gareth Bale sent a sensational back post cross to Karim Benzema, whose angled-back header was equally nice.

The 62nd minute saw Real get its first chance at the lead, with Juanfran‘s flailing arm striking a cross in he Atleti box. Ramos converted his stuttered run-up to make it 2-1.

Costa leveled the score after a glittering Juanfran move through the 18 and cutback to the top of the six.

Saul’s extra time marker was sensational, catching an 18-yard side volley with fury. The ball was always tailing away from the diving Navas, and set-up by Thomas Partey.

No threepeat: Italy keeps up surprising run with 2-0 ouster of Spain

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Georgio Chiellini scored a rare defensive goal, Andres Iniesta was nutmegged, and Italy continued to surprise at EURO 2016 by ending Spain’s hopes of a threepeat.

Why tournament powers Italy was overlooked is another debate altogether, but by the time Daniele de Rossi slipped a ball between Iniesta’s legs it was clear: Gli Azzurri are going to be as tough an out as anyone.

Chiellini’s first half goal off a scrum lifted Italy to the win, and Graziano Pelle added an insurance goal in stoppage time of a 2-0 win in Saint-Denis. Gianluigi Buffon was terrific as usual for Italy, especially on a last-minute save on Gerard Pique.

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Italy got a measure of revenge on the team that kicked them out of consecutive EURO tournaments, and Germany’s up next.

David De Gea made a fantastic, firing low and to his left to slap away a strong header from Graziano Pelle following a Alessandro Florenzi cross.

The Spanish back line left De Gea out to try on Italy’s opener, as the keeper parried Eder‘s free kick and Chiellini was one of a host of Italy players broke through.

Gerard Pique avoided a yellow card, actually any foul call, on a tackle around the hour mark, and Italy nearly made it 2-0 moments later when De Gea was caught out of position on an Italy counter. The Spanish back line broke it up.

[ MORE: Alves off to Juve ]

If you’re wondering where the write-up on Spanish chances is, take a peak below at the graphic posted by Squawka with about 25 minutes left in the second half.

When Spain was able to test the Italians, like Iniesta’s 76th minute volley and Pique’s 77th minute blast, the inimitable Gianluigi Buffon was at the ready to keep order.

Future Chelsea boss Antonio Conte had orchestrated the Italian defense in a manner fitting of ousting a champion.

EURO 2016: Why’s Del Bosque not giving Spain’s youngsters many chances?

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SAINT-MARTIN-DE-RE, France (AP) The young players considered the future of Spanish soccer have not been getting many chances to show their potential at the European Championship.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s EURO 2016 coverage ]

Coach Vicente Del Bosque has been revamping Spain after the debacle at the 2014 World Cup but has preferred to stick to more experienced players at Euro 2016.

Most of the youngsters he brought to France have not played a major role for the two-time defending champions so far, and it’s unlikely many will be on the field when Spain faces Italy in the tournament’s round of 16 on Monday at Stade de France.

Goalkeeper David De Gea and striker Alvaro Morata are the only “new generation” players to have started in the team’s first three matches. Of the other six players in the squad who are 25 or younger, only midfielders Thiago Alcantara and Jorge “Koke” Resurreccion got to play a few minutes off the bench. Yet to play are defenders Marc Bartra and Hector Bellerin, as well as forward Lucas Vazquez and third-string goalkeeper Sergio Rico.

[ MORE: EURO 2016 Best XI (so far) ]

“It hurts that I’m not able to use players such as Koke, Thiago and Bartra more often,” said Del Bosque, who has favored the veterans from Spain’s recent triumphs and older players who are relatively new to the national team but certainly aren’t part of the country’s new generation, including 31-year-old Juanfran Torres and 29-year-old Manuel “Nolito” Agudo.

The coach brought 14 players with less than 25 international appearances, but only five are younger than 25 years old.

Some of the main players of Spain’s highly successful generation from recent years have already retired from the national team, including Carles Puyol, Xabi Alonso, David Villa and Xavi Hernandez. Some didn’t even make it to France, like striker Fernando Torres.

The fate of those still on the squad, like Andres Iniesta, David Silva and Iker Casillas, who are all 30 or older, is yet to be decided. The 35-year-old Casillas, Spain’s most experienced player with 167 caps, has already lost his starting position in goal.

[ MORE: Predicting the knockout rounds of EURO 2016 ]

“We used to have a team with a lot of quality players, and now we have one with other quality players,” defender Sergio Ramos said. “The goal is to keep winning, even if we have less experienced players.”

Many expected Del Bosque to give some of the youngsters a chance to play in last Tuesday’s game against Croatia, when Spain had already secured a spot in the knockout stage, but the coach fielded the same 11 from the first two games.

When he brought in players from the bench in the group stage matches, he favored older players such as 35-year-old striker Aritz Aduriz and 32-year-old midfielder Bruno Soriano.

Of the youngsters on the bench, Alcantara is the one with the most playing time. He came on as a substitute for 23 minutes in the 1-0 opening win against the Czech Republic, and for 10 minutes in the 2-1 loss to Croatia in the team’s third group match. Koke played 21 minutes in the 3-0 win over Turkey in the second match.

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Spain won the last two European Championships and the 2010 World Cup, but is coming off early elimination in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, which marked the first sign that its winning generation was starting to falter.

“What the youngsters bring to the team is quality,” Iniesta said. “That is what is important, regardless of their age. “There are always changes in a team, but you have to try to keep the winning mentality. We still have a great squad.”

Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/tales-azzoni