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The Portugal international rescued Zinedine Zidane's men with a hat-trick against Wolfsburg and booked Real Madrid's place in the semi-finals. Cristiano Ronaldo has broken records with his latest Champions League hat-trick - and his stats will leave Arsenal fans blushing. Three goals from the Portugal international on Tuesday evening fired Madrid past Wolfsburg and into the Champions League semi-finals. It was Ronaldo’s fifth hat-trick in the Champions League, and he’s pulled level with Lionel Messi, but the Madrid forward is the only player in the competition’s history to score 15 or more goals in two different campaigns. Ronaldo is also the first player to score three Champions League hat-tricks in a single season. And his remarkable consistency in front of goal in Europe even shows up one of the Premier League’s title challengers. Since 2013, Arsenal, as an entire team, have scored 41 goals in 26 games. Ronaldo on his own, meanwhile, has found the net 43 times in just 33 appearances.
Ronaldo's Champions League goal record is better than Arsenal's
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The 19-year-old has burst onto the scene at Arsenal in recent weeks and made his competitive debut for Nigeria in March, committing himself to the Super Eagles over England. GOALEXCLUSIVE Alex Iwobi’s biggest supporter on and off the field is his father Chuka. A lawyer based in the UK, Iwobi senior abandoned his budding football career to pursue law in order to assure a better future for his family. His son has picked up where he left off, however, and is putting the family name on TV screens across the world with his impressive performances for Arsenal. Iwobi the younger finally committed his international future to the Super Eagles when they took on Egypt recently, and Goal had the chance to discuss his rapid rise for club and country with Chuka. GOAL: You finally saw Alex make his competitive debut for Nigeria having jettisoned your own football career as a youth - how does that make you feel? CHUKA IWOBI: "Alex came on in the 81st minute and it was more like a dream come true, and that answers the question on whether Alex is going to play for England or Nigeria. That put a stop to the question and the rest is for him to work hard and become a regular for the Nigerian side and take it game by game." Many parents would feel playing for England is more prestigious. Was it a tough decision to make? "My philosophy in life is to always follow your heart. For Alex, I did play a role in persuading him to come, but ultimately it was his decision to come and play for Nigeria. It’s been a long journey, not an easy journey, and we want to send a message to footballers of Nigerian origin who are abroad. "There is a lot of misconception that things are not properly organised in Nigeria. All I can say to [those people] is come, have a look as I have done, and they will see a totally different setup from what they have heard. It is a joy to play for Nigeria, things are properly done in Nigeria, Nigeria is a big footballing nation and I would like to encourage everyone out there who is having any doubt to come and see and taste for themselves. "I’m talking from personal experience; it’s a wonderful opportunity for anybody to come back and play for their country. Alex was born in Nigeria on May 3, 1996, and he went abroad when he was four months old. For me and for Alex it’s like coming home and home is where the heart is. It is a privilege to play for Nigeria and I am honoured and overjoyed." Are you happy with his progress under the wing of Arsene Wenger? "Without a doubt, Wenger is a coach who encourages young stars. He has a pedigree of bringing through youngsters from a very early age and there have been a lot of African footballers who have played under Wenger and done very well. People like Emmanuel Eboue, Lauren, Alex Song, and Thierry Henry and Nicolas Anelka. "These are players who have come to Arsenal at a very young age when they were starting their careers - and look where he has taken them. Wenger has a system of moulding young stars – you have to be patient, you have to keep the faith and you have to trust in him. "At the beginning of the season when Wenger said Alex was not going out on loan, we had no reservations because we believe in his philosophy. Alex has really improved this season, it is more like a breakthrough season for him. He has really progressed from the reserves to the first team and it is through hard work and, above all, humility, respect for senior players, understanding and a desire to learn. And pride always goes before a downfall because when a player starts thinking that he’s better than he actually is, then he is destined for failure. "I can say, and with a lot of joy, that my son is a very humble person and he is always well loved by his team-mates and coaches. He listens and he respects and he is a team player. He relishes the joy of winning as a team rather than any personal achievements. The priority for him is the team and if he is able to make a contribution, that is a bonus." How much effort did you put into his career as a young boy? Has travelling overseas to see him play affected your career? "I have a personal relationship with Alex. To me, he’s a son, to him, I’m his dad, but the relationship is more like best friends because he is an adult and able to make decisions. "I’m a lawyer and I work in the UK - fortunately I work for myself, I’m self-employed, so I’m able to organize my diary. When we knew he was coming to Nigeria, I was able to put in a lot of work and I was also able to delegate some of my files to colleagues. So that then has helped me to create some time. "When I go back, there would definitely still be a lot of work to do. When Alex has training and I’m there or he has a game and I’m there, it gives him a certain kind of confidence because he knows somewhere in the crowd is his dad and that gives him the courage to perform. And when he scores, or if he scores, if I’m there you will see him pointing in my direction which is like, 'Daddy, thank you for all the support'. "Alex is not a finished product, he still has a lot to learn, but he has come a long way. When you look at players like [Lionel] Messi, they’re working, they’re shooting, they’re training, they’re doing extra work and that’s what it takes to become successful. "For Alex there’s a lot to be learnt in aspects of his game and I keep saying to people who think Alex has made it: 'He hasn’t made it'. He has embarked on a journey and he still has a long way to go. God willing and injury free, I’m hoping he will continue to grow in the game and become a much better player, being level-headed and respecting those above him and also encouraging those coming up." Does he still live at home or is he living alone? "Alex lives alone but I must say he’s got his bed at home. They train Monday to Friday, he lives near the training ground but he comes home every Friday because he loves his mummy’s cooking. I’m talking about Nigerian food." Interestingly about food, what did he eat - was it salad or pepper soup [that caused his food poisoning before Nigeria's game against Egypt]? "To be honest, I’m not certain. All I can say is that he ate something that did not agree with him and that caused him a problem but thank God he was able to recover very quickly. He’ll kill me for this, but Alex’s favourite food is eba (a staple made with cassava flour) and okra soup made by his mum. He eats all kinds of Nigerian food." Does he speak Pidgin and Igbo? "I think it’s an indictment on my own person. My name is Chuka Iwobi, I speak Igbo, I understand Yoruba. Unfortunately for Alex, he cannot speak Igbo but he understands Igbo and I think it’s a failing on our part because we could have done a bit more to make him understand Igbo. "The shortcut to everything is that he has picked up the universal language which is Pidgin English and he has made an effort talking to his team-mates. In the [Nigeria] team, you have Igbo people and Yoruba people but the universal language is Pidgin. "His first encounter with Pidgin was when he was invited to the Under-23s, that’s when he picked up the language. It’s getting better now and it’s coming to a stage where he understands every word of Pidgin but then he’s struggling to put his thoughts into words. So he has a fair understanding of Pidgin and by the time he comes progressively into camp, I’m sure he’s going to get better." After his goal against Everton, the famous English journalist Piers Morgan tweeted at him in Igbo, did you see that tweet? "Piers Morgan is someone I know as a very critical and a die-hard Arsenal fan. He’s very critical of players especially when they’re not doing well. But I can safely say Alex has won Piers Morgan over… (Sees tweet and laughs) "Like I say, Piers Morgan is a critic and he has sort of fallen in love with Alex like most Arsenal fans. And for Piers Morgan to actually have time to tweet Alex on a personal level and making an effort to tweet it in Igbo, it does speak volumes about Alex’s growing support. "He did get tweets from Thierry Henry also, he has won a lot of people over. I’ve always said that he still has a lot of work to do to keep on improving and hopefully his following will keep growing. He has got his uncle Jay-Jay [Okocha] to look up to and Alex has said: 'I love being Jay-Jay’s nephew but I want to establish my own identity, I want people to know me as Alex Iwobi and not Alex Iwobi, Jay-Jay’s nephew', which obviously shows a lot of ambition. "I mean, Jay-Jay has been his mentor, he encourages him, he tells him where to go and how to conduct himself. In the scheme of things, he still wants to have his own identity just like any other player, so Alex Iwobi is Alex Iwobi. And I’m glad he’s beginning to assert himself and become Alex Iwobi. With hard work and dedication, he can only get better and that is the prayer of every parent."

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The visitors came from behind to earn a remarkable victory at Camp Nou, in a result that simultaneously dents the hosts' title hopes and boosts those of Atletico Madrid. Cristiano Ronaldo struck after a red card for Sergio Ramos to snatch a 2-1 Clasico victory for 10-man Real Madrid over Barcelona in La Liga on Saturday. Both sets of players and a capacity Camp Nou crowd paid a moving pre-match tribute to the late Johan Cruyff but there was little of the footballing magic the Dutchman made his calling card during a fitful contest in Catalonia. Lionel Messi was forced to feed off scraps in search of his 500th Barcelona goal, although he drew an excellent save from Keylor Navas before Gerard Pique headed the hosts into a 56th-minute lead. Karim Benzema showed superb awareness and technique to volley Madrid level and there was justifiable fury from the visitors when Gareth Bale had an 80th-minute header ruled out for an apparent foul on Jordi Alba. Madrid's burgeoning confidence might have been checked when Ramos' concluded a rash outing with his second booking seven minutes from time, but Ronaldo's 16th goal against Barcelona stunned the Camp Nou masses and handed Luis Enrique's team their first defeat for 24 Liga matches. Champions Barcelona are six points ahead of Atletico Madrid at the summit with seven matches remaining this season, while Madrid are a point further back, coach Zinedine Zidane having made a convincing pitch for his long-term job prospects at the Santiago Bernabeu. After Cruyff was honoured with a stadium-spanning mosaic and a minute's silence, Luis Suarez wasted a glorious chance to give Barcelona a 10th-minute lead. A misjudgement from Madrid captain Ramos, passed fit following a back problem, left Neymar and Suarez tearing towards goal – although the Uruguay star got his feet tangled and failed to convert at the back post when his team-mate squared. Navas did not make a save until he parried Ivan Rakitic's stinging 21st-minute shot, while the already booked Ramos was not punished when he brought down Messi on the edge of the Madrid box. Bale and Ronaldo carried growing menace for the visitors as the half progressed but they were struggling to create openings as marauding Barca full-back Dani Alves blazed over. When a chance fell to their forward colleague Benzema on the penalty spot a minute from the break the France international clattered his volley hopelessly into orbit. Ramos continued to teeter on his disciplinary tightrope when he brought down Suarez three minutes into the second half – Messi fired the resulting free-kick over. The mercurial Argentina star called Navas into action in the 54th minute with a sumptuous lob that the goalkeeper impressively clawed out of his top left corner. A flurry of corners followed and Madrid were unable to withstand the pressure as Pique slipped away from Pepe to send a thumping header into the net from Rakitic's right-wing delivery. The lead would only last six minutes as Madrid full-back Marcelo fed Toni Kroos at the end of a driving run. Germany midfielder Kroos tried to steer a pass across the box, with the ball deflecting off Jordi Alba, but Benzema was alert to the possibilities and swivelled to acrobatically volley home. Barcelona needed a brilliant last-ditch tackle from Javier Mascherano to deny Ronaldo and Suarez flashed wide on the end of Messi's raking pass before Bale had his celebrations cut short by the officials. The Wales international simply appeared to time his jump better than Alba, climbing above the full-back to dispatch Ronaldo's cross but referee Alejandro Jose Hernandez Hernandez chalked off the goal following a conversation with his assistant. Ramos' luck eventually ran out when he dived in on Suarez but Ronaldo would not allow that to stem the victory charge. The three-time Ballon d'Or winner chested down Bale's deep right-wing cross at the back post and buried an unerring finish beyond Bravo, peeling away to delight in the home supporters' silence.
Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid: Ronaldo strike gives 10-man visitors victory
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The striker found the net early in the second half to secure three points for his side and keep them in a strong position in the fight for a top four finish in the Premier League. Anthony Martial struck Manchester United's 1000th Premier League goal at Old Trafford as Louis van Gaal's side maintained their push for the Champions League places with a 1-0 win over Everton. Following an uneventful first half and a wave of Everton pressure to begin the second period, United became the first team to reach the landmark when Marcus Rashford and substitute Timothy Fosu-Mensah combined to set up Martial's 13th goal for United this season. The win moves the hosts back within a point of fourth-placed rivals Manchester City, who they beat immediately before the international break, with seven matches remaining for each side. Everton hit the crossbar through captain Phil Jagielka shortly after Martial's strike but could not avoid a first Premier League defeat on the road since October. Roberto Martinez's side remain 12th with eight league matches to play and could face United again in the FA Cup semi-final later this month if Van Gaal's men negotiate a quarter-final replay at West Ham. Before kick-off, United icon Bobby Charlton received a rousing ovation on the field as an in-stadium mosaic marked Old Trafford's South Stand being renamed in his honour. United were unchanged from their derby win over Manchester City last time out, while the visitors welcomed England defender John Stones back from international duty with a place at centre-back ahead of Ramiro Funes Mori. Everton winger Gerard Deulofeu – recalled in the visitors' other change - darted menacingly past Marcos Rojo but failed to get a shot off after bursting into the United box. Both sides attacked willingly in an enterprising start and Martial saw his strike deflected narrowly beyond the far post by Everton full-back Leighton Baines. David de Gea was out quickly to spare Chris Smalling, who lost his footing to leave reported United target Romelu Lukaku bearing down on goal in a first half which saw neither side produce a shot on target. Fosu-Mensah replaced Rojo at half-time and Matteo Darmian switched to left-back but Deulofeu continued to cause problems down the United left – his low cross to Lukaku prompting a last-ditch intervention from Smalling. Daley Blind was the next man to bravely deny Lukaku and Smalling blocked from Tom Cleverley, although Everton's pressure would count for nothing when United picked them apart in the 54th minute. Teenage striker Rashford rolled a backheel into the path of Fosu-Mensah, whose low cross evaded Stones and Seamus Coleman for Martial drill into the net via the legs of goalkeeper Joel Robles. Jagielka thudded a header from Deulofeu's right-wing corner against the bar as Everton sought an immediate response. United, though, were attacking with increasing confidence by the time Martinez made a surprise call to replace the excellent Deulofeu with Kevin Mirallas. The change did nothing to shake the impression that Everton had run out of ideas, until the excellent Blind departed through injury to give them late encouragement. Jagielka got on the end of a late set-piece but blasted too close to De Gea and Fosu-Mensah hacked a Coleman cross out of the goalmouth as United preserved a fourth consecutive home Premier League win.
Manchester United 1-0 Everton: Martial fires Van Gaal's men to crucial win
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The Nigerian youngster got a standing ovation from the Emirates crowd after coming off when he scored and provided an assist against Watford. Arsene Wenger has described the standing ovation that Arsenal fans gave Alex Iwobi in Saturday’s 4-0 victory over Watford as deserving of a ‘special’ player. The Nigerian youngster provided an assist for Alexis Sanchez to open scoring before receiving an assist from the Chilean to score his second goal in as many starts in the Premier League. He would go on to hit the cross bar before being substituted late on when he received a standing applause from the Gunners faithful and earning him a place in Goal's Premier Team of the Week. “I think our people have seen many good players over the years and they know straight away when a player has something special, so they acknowledge that,” Wenger told Arsenal Player. “You cannot cheat people. They’ve seen how quickly [Iwobi’s] improved and how well he’s played. “It’s surprising how quickly he’s integrated into our game. He’s worked with us since the start of the season and he has grown, gained confidence and when he came in he had an impact straight away. “That’s benefited from the fact that he knows everybody and they trust him as well. I didn’t expect that level of efficiency or impact on the scoresheet.”
Wenger: Arsenal fans know Iwobi’s ‘special’
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