Carlo Ancelotti said everyone expects Cristiano Ronaldo's performances to decline but the Juventus superstar never fails on the big stage after his stunning Champions League hat-trick on Tuesday.

Ronaldo scored a record-equalling eighth Champions League hat-trick as Juve defeated Atletico Madrid 3-0 en route to the quarter-finals.

Juve trailed 2-0 after the first leg last month but five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo took centre stage in Turin, where his treble completed a memorable comeback.

Napoli head coach Ancelotti – who won the 2013-14 Champions League with Ronaldo at Real Madrid – heaped praise on the 34-year-old forward.

"Ronaldo never fails in these games," Ancelotti told Sky Sport Italia. "There are great players who play well in the important matches but he celebrates himself.

"This is the difference between the great players and champions, like him.

"Everyone expects his performance to go down, but it doesn't. It never goes down."

"With him, I lived good moments, the others are likely doing the same. I have already enjoyed enough with him," added Ancelotti, whose Napoli will take a 3-0 lead into the second leg of their Europa League last-16 clash against Red Bull Salzburg.

"Juventus? They are very strong, Atletico are not easy to deal with. Juve made an extraordinary impression."

Carlo Ancelotti said he would have jumped off a bridge if he was in charge of Paris Saint-Germain after their Champions League capitulation.

PSG squandered a first-leg lead as the French champions were sensationally eliminated on away goals by Manchester United in a dramatic last-16 tie on Wednesday.

Thomas Tuchel's PSG led 2-0 following the trip to Old Trafford but were beaten 3-1 in Paris, where Marcus Rashford's controversial 94th-minute penalty sent the Ligue 1 giants out.

Asked about PSG's exit, Napoli head coach Ancelotti – who led the capital club to Ligue 1 glory in 2012-13 – was stunned following his team's Europa League victory.

"It was incredible," Italian boss Ancelotti said via Sky Sport Italia. "Incredible.

"If I had been on the PSG bench, I don't know what I would've done. Probably find the closest bridge and jump off it."

Ancelotti was speaking after Napoli accounted for Red Bull Salzburg 3-0 in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday.

Arkadiusz Milik, Fabian Ruiz and a Jerome Onguene own goal put Napoli in complete control, though centre-back duo Kalidou Koulibaly and Nikola Maksimovic will miss the return fixture through suspension.

"I am not worried about their absence, as we have reliable centre-backs, but I was more concerned by the lack of balance in the final stages," Ancelotti said.

"It's a good result, there are still 90 minutes to play and we cannot make calculations. We did some things well, some not so well, and we've got to work on those.

"We allowed some dangerous counter-attacks and through runs that at 3-0 we really could've avoided. We can be impenetrable when we defend well, but we get too exuberant and try to push forward.

"Salzburg have proved they've got great pace and stamina, so we need to be on alert. We need to score at least a goal in the second leg, otherwise we'll run risks."

Massimiliano Allegri insisted Juventus are not champions yet, despite opening a huge lead over Napoli at the top of the Serie A.

Juve took a giant step towards an eighth successive Scudetto by moving 16 points clear thanks to Sunday's 2-1 win at Napoli.

Miralem Pjanic and Emre Can put Juve on track for a hard-fought victory in Naples, where both teams finished the top-of-the-table clash with 10 men.

Juve remain undefeated after 26 matches, with 23 wins and three draws, but head coach Allegri said the Scudetto is not decided.

"As long as the maths don't give us the title, we have to keep winning our games," Allegri told reporters.

"I think we need at least five victories to claim the Scudetto. We won our two matches against them [Napoli].

"Now we have to think about beating Udinese, which will be very important going into the match against Atletico [Madrid in the Champions League]."

It was a dramatic encounter on Sunday after Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret was sent off in the 25th minute as he tried to win the ball ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Pjanic scored from the ensuing free-kick before Can headed home Juve's second prior to half-time, though Napoli were given hope when the former was sent off at the start of the second half for a second yellow card.

Jose Callejon's 61st-minute goal set up a thrilling finish but Lorenzo Insigne was unable to complete the comeback for Napoli after his penalty hit the post with six minutes remaining.

"[It was] was a crazy match with various incidents that made it pretty messy," Allegri added. "The two best teams in the league were facing each other.

"Napoli have great technical skills and made it really difficult for us."

Carlo Ancelotti was "genuinely surprised" by Napoli's superiority against winners Juventus after both teams were reduced to 10 men, while he labelled Alex Meret's red card "controversial".

Defending champions Juventus moved 16 points clear atop the Serie A standings thanks to Sunday's drama-filled 2-1 victory away to second-placed Napoli.

Napoli goalkeeper Meret was sent off inside 25 minutes as he rushed out to win the ball ahead of Juve superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, who appeared to fall under minimal contact.

Miralem Pjanic scored from the resulting free-kick and Emre Can doubled Juve's lead before half-time, though Napoli were given a boost when the former received a second yellow card for a handball two minutes after the break.

Jose Callejon pulled a goal back for Napoli – who saw Piotr Zielinski hit the post in the first half – in the 61st minute but Lorenzo Insigne was unable to earn a draw with six minutes remaining as his penalty struck the woodwork.

Discussing Meret's dismissal, Napoli head coach Ancelotti told Sky Sport Italia: "It's controversial. He certainly didn't catch him, I can accept it was punished for an attempted tackle. Then you have to take into account where the ball was going, where Allan was.

"Seeing as we have VAR technology, why not view it in totality? It was not a very clear red, as Cristiano might not have been able to get on to that ball anyway. It was going towards the corner flag.

"Meret did not touch him. After that, you have to consider all the other elements. The red certainly changed the game. The only two things we got wrong were the positioning on the wall for Pjanic's free-kick and the corner marking on Emre Can.

"Piotr Zielinski didn't jump in the wall and the ball went over his head. It's destiny, because [striker] Arkadiusz Milik [who was replaced by goalkeeper David Ospina following Meret's red card] was meant to be in the wall…"

Ancelotti added: "I was genuinely surprised by how superior we were to Juve once it went to 10 against 10. It showed how much quality there is in this team, we've got to become more and more convinced of our own capabilities.

"We are having a positive season, changing some tactics and bringing new, younger players in. We must trust our own qualities. We cannot win a game the way Juve did tonight, as we have very different strengths.

"Juventus have great temperament, organisation and individual duels, whereas we have more technique, quality and have to focus on those strengths to win."

Massimiliano Allegri claimed he "fell asleep" during Juventus' dramatic 2-1 Serie A win over Napoli – making an error that almost cost the runaway leaders victory.

The effects of a contest featuring two red cards and a missed penalty upon a raucous Stadio San Paolo crowd were anything but sedentary.

Miralem Pjanic opened the scoring with a sublime free-kick after Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret was dismissed for a professional foul on Cristiano Ronaldo.

Emre Can doubled the visitors' advantage before half-time but Pjanic went from hero to villain as he collected a second yellow card for handball early in the second half.

Lorenzo Insigne crossed brilliantly for Jose Callejon to reduce the arrears but smashed an 84th-minute spot kick against the post as Juventus took another step towards an unbeaten Serie A season and increased their advantage at the summit to 16 points.

Speaking to Sky Sport after the match, Allegri lambasted himself for not taking Pjanic out of the firing line following his initial caution for a foul on Callejon.

"I fell asleep, I should have subbed him off after the first yellow," he said.

"The second caution for Pjanic made us lose control. We let Napoli back into the match and the stadium started believing again, even if we had a great opportunity at 2-1 that we wasted.

"Sixteen is an important margin but we need to wait for the maths [to guarantee the title].

"Now, let's rest and then head to Udinese and Atletico [Madrid]. We could have done better."

Despite some replays suggesting contact between Meret and Ronado was minimal, Allegri had no doubt the officials made the right decision in that instance.

"As people have told me, in this case it was a foul," he added.

"The intent was clearly there so I think it was a good decision. I think the referee did well overall." 

Lorenzo Insigne's penalty cannoned agonisingly back off the post as Napoli lost 2-1 to runaway leaders Juventus in a Serie A thriller that saw both teams finish with 10 men.

Miralem Pjanic converted the 28th-minute free-kick after Napoli's young goalkeeper Alex Meret was sent off for a professional foul on Cristiano Ronaldo and Emre Can made it 2-0 before half-time.

Despite operating with reduced numbers, Napoli hit the post through Piotr Zielinski between the Juve goals and Pjanic's second yellow card for deliberate handball gave them hope – as did Jose Callejon's 61st-minute goal.

Insigne provided a superb assist but could not complete the comeback after Alex Sandro fell foul of a VAR review for handball having blocked Fabian Ruiz's goalbound shot.

Napoli's relentless pressure then dropped off and Massimiliano Allegri's undefeated Juve now boast a mammoth 16-point lead over Carlo Ancelotti's men at the summit.

Zielinski arrowed a first-time shot just wide in the 11th minute following an error by Juventus centre-back Leonardo Bonucci.

Ronaldo thrashed his first opening over but was in the thick of the game's first turning point, when Meret dashed from his area to rashly bring down the Juve superstar after Kevin Malcuit's dreadful backpass sold him short.

Ancelotti sacrificed Arkadiusz Milik to bring on David Ospina and the substitute goalkeeper's first act was to pick Pjanic's immaculate free-kick out of his net.

Napoli thrillingly took the game to Juve despite reduced numbers, with the irrepressible Zielinski thudding a shot against the post.

Ospina beat another sweet Pjanic strike over the bar in the 39th minute, only for Can's deflected header from a well-worked short corner to double the advantage.

Pjanic had been booked for a 36th-minute foul on Callejon and the game took another twist when he walked early in the second half.

And Callejon breathed new life into Napoli's challenge as he turned in Insigne's brilliant left-wing cross from close range.

Wojciech Szczesny saved on the angle from Zielinski amid blue waves of attacks before his post denied a crestfallen Insigne from 12 yards.

What does it mean? Juve ride out the storm, sailing closer to invincibility

Further notable challenges await Allegri's team in Serie A this season, with games against both Milan clubs and a derby showdown versus Torino among them. But coming through this wild, wonderful encounter intact feels like a significant step towards an unbeaten season.

Zielinski dazzles in vain

Whether this game was 11 versus 11, 10 versus 11 or 10-a-side, Napoli's Poland midfield star was a relentless problem for Juve. He tested the post and threatened persistently from the left flank before being moved inside after half-time, where his influence did not diminish.

Malcuit readies his apologies

Malcuit's brainwave to leave Meret in peril was a dreadful error and Ancelotti saw sense in sending on Dries Mertens for the French full-back in a bold half-time change.

What's next?

Napoli host Red Bull Salzburg in the Europa League on Thursday, a day before Juventus welcome Udinese to the Allianz Stadium for Friday Serie A action.

Napoli head coach Carlo Ancelotti's positivity is "contagious", according to the club's president Aurelio De Laurentiis.

Ancelotti joined the Naples club last May but has been unable to orchestrate a significant challenge to Juventus' Serie A dominance.

Juve travel to Stadio San Paolo on Sunday with a 13-point lead over their second-place hosts and appear destined to get their hands on an eighth consecutive Scudetto.

De Laurentiis, however, is delighted with the mentality Ancelotti has brought to the club and is in awe of his ability to deliver results wherever he coaches.

"I am struck by his serenity, but mainly the ability to deliver in every corner of Europe," De Laurentiis told Corriere dello Sport of the former Real Madrid, Chelsea and Bayern Munich coach.

"That is not a skill that belongs to everyone as many cannot get the same results in other places, but he is always the same.

"He offers you the perception of always being alive. It is contagious."

Napoli have been linked with moves for PSV forward Hirving Lozano and Villarreal midfielder Pablo Fornals, but De Laurentiis explained: "It's true that I like both, but that's not enough, as you know."

Cristiano Ronaldo will be in the Juventus side to take on Napoli in Serie A on Sunday after overcoming an ankle injury, Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed.

Ronaldo worked separately from his team-mates on Wednesday after picking up a knock in last weekend's 1-0 win over Bologna but did return to full training the following day.

Juve's commanding 13-point lead over Napoli - their nearest challengers in the table - prompted suggestions the Portuguese could be rested from Sunday's meeting as Allegri's men look ahead to a Champions League last-16 tie with Atletico Madrid in 10 days.

The Bianconeri trail 2-0 from the opening leg in the Spanish capital and will surely need Ronaldo at the peak of his powers to have any hope of a turnaround, but Allegri dismissed the notion of resting his star man for the visit to Napoli.

"Ronaldo trained with the team and will play tomorrow," Allegri told a news conference on Saturday.

"Sami Khedira needs tests. We hope to get Douglas Costa back against Atletico Madrid, but Juan Cuadrado is still a long way off recovery."

The loss in Madrid, as well as Juve's surprise Coppa Italia elimination at the hands of Atalanta in late January, has seen the Serie A champions come in for what Allegri believes is unwarranted criticism.

"I was disappointed by the reaction, because people had created some expectations Juventus had to go to Madrid and beat Atletico 3-0," he said.

"It's not an intelligent assumption, not one for people with their feet on the ground.

"These are expectations based on something that is entirely outside of reality. We were missing four important players. You can lose one game and make up for it in Serie A over the next 12 rounds, but in the Champions League you can lose once and that's it, you're out.

"I understand constructive criticism, but not when expectations are beyond reality. It is not normal to win, it is always extraordinary and must always be treated as such. If you don't, then that's not my problem.

"Let's not forget in my tenure, Juventus lost 11 games in the Champions League, including ones against Young Boys and Sevilla where we were already qualified, Manchester United in bizarre fashion, then Barcelona, Real [Madrid] and Atletico. I am not a fan of statistics, but that's an impressive statistic.

"I was angry with the way we lost to Atletico Madrid, but I was angry with myself, not with the critics. I am the coach and set the example, but I also have to be accepted for who I am.

"We should focus on Napoli, a stadium packed with people eager to beat us. We must play with intelligence, sharpness, intensity, clear heads and knowing it's never over at the San Paolo."

Giorgio Chiellini believes Juventus can all but end the Serie A title race by beating Napoli on Sunday.

The leaders head to Stadio San Paolo with a 13-point lead after taking 22 wins and three draws from 25 matches this season.

Napoli have only lost once in the top flight since a 3-1 defeat to Juve in the reverse fixture in September, but three goalless draws in their last five games have seen Carlo Ancelotti's side fall further behind the champions.

Although he acknowledges it will be a difficult match, Chiellini thinks a win for Juve will prove decisive in their quest for an eighth consecutive Scudetto.

"It'll be a great game against Napoli," he told Sky Sport Italia. "They've made us sweat in the last few years. 

"We have to give a little thought to Atletico [Madrid in the Champions League on March 12] every day, but we'll focus on that challenge after the next matches. We want to conclude the league and show that the gap at the top is right. 

"It'll be an open match compared to the last few years, because the teams have a lot of wishes to fulfil. Unfortunately, I've only won twice at the San Paolo, but that stadium and that team have always brought the best out of me. 

"Ancelotti knows how to manage the atmosphere and the team better. I've always rated him, and Napoli are slowly reaping the rewards, with similar players to those [Maurizio] Sarri had. 

"Even though he's managed to do great things, we're doing incredible things. A win at the San Paolo would be a definitive knockout for the Azzurri."

Cristiano Ronaldo has resumed full training for Juventus following an ankle problem.

The 34-year-old was forced to train separately on Wednesday after taking a knock in the 1-0 Serie A win at Bologna last Sunday.

However, the Portugal star now looks likely to face Napoli this weekend after being cleared to take part in a team session.

"Cristiano Ronaldo trained as normal with the group, having yesterday done work separately," Juve said in a statement on Thursday.

The news is a boost for Massimiliano Allegri's side, who can move 16 points clear at the top of the table if they win at the San Paolo on Sunday.

Ronaldo has scored 21 goals in all competitions for Juve since his €112million move from Real Madrid last July.

Carlo Ancelotti believes Napoli have what it takes to disrupt Juventus' Serie A dominance "sooner or later".

Juve travel to Stadio San Paolo on Sunday with a 13-point lead over their second-place hosts and appear destined to get their hands on an eighth consecutive Scudetto.

Ancelotti concedes Massimiliano Allegri's side have been "extraordinary" this season but has seen enough since joining Napoli last May to suggest they could soon end the Bianconeri's domestic dominance.

"The table doesn't lie, it's partially to Juventus' credit and partially our fault," he told La Stampa.

"We have had a few bad games but could not keep up with an extraordinary Juventus side.

"Napoli can and must be able to compete with Juventus, otherwise I wouldn't have come here. Sooner or later we'll win, I'm certain of that.

"The group of players here are less formed than the ones I had at Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Chelsea, for example, so I can have more of an impact on them.

"It reminds me of my experience at AC Milan, plus Aurelio De Laurentiis is similar to Silvio Berlusconi. He manages the club like a big family, and I feel like a member of the family."

Napoli are unbeaten in their last seven Serie A games and hold a nine-point lead over third-place Inter.

Kalidou Koulibaly is Napoli's Cristiano Ronaldo, according to former Juventus and Real Madrid head coach Fabio Capello.

Koulibaly has established himself as one of the best centre-backs in the world and the Napoli star has been linked with Premier League giants Manchester United.

Napoli and runaway Serie A leaders Juve will go head-to-head at Stadio San Paolo on Sunday, and Capello likened the Senegal international to five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo.

"The Ronaldo of Napoli? Without a doubt it's Koulibaly," Capello told Il Mattino.

"He's a monstrous, talented defender. Right now, he's among the best in the world."

Koulibaly has made 23 Serie A appearances this season - 33 in all competitions - for Napoli, who are second and 13 points adrift of Juve.

Napoli are also set to face Salzburg in the Europa League round of 16 in March.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis appeared to aim a dig at Serie A leaders Juventus and their signing of Cristiano Ronaldo, urging his club to think of the "right recipe" for success rather than spending heavily.

Juve are in pole position to win an eighth successive Scudetto, as they lead Napoli by 13 points at the top of Serie A with 14 games to go.

They completed the blockbuster €112million signing of Ronaldo from Real Madrid last July and he has rewarded them with 19 league goals in his debut season.

De Laurentiis, however, claims Napoli would not risk spending such a sizeable fee in pursuit of trophies, telling Sky Sport Italia: "There is this habitual feeling of the fans being disappointed in the stadium. We'll fight to the end.

"If someone falters at the first hurdle, then he is a failure in life. If he doesn't want to be a failure, he keeps fighting to the end. It's not just he who finishes first that wins. We all win if we play with capability and fervour.

"Sorry, but if I had created a 200million debt to sign one player, what would be the point in winning? Let's think of the right recipe for success, here."

Napoli have been drawn against Red Bull Salzburg in the last 16 of the Europa League, and could face Chelsea and their former boss Maurizio Sarri in the final in May should they progress to Baku.

Sarri's future at Chelsea is under scrutiny following a poor run of results, and De Laurentiis appeared to poke fun at the 60-year-old's predicament, saying: "It would be fun to play Chelsea in the final, assuming of course that Sarri can hang on that long…!"

However, he added: "I hope he does stay there and do very well, because Sarri loves his work to the point of madness. At times this can lead him to lose his temper, but that is to be respected.

"Sarri gave a great deal to Napoli. Some might not always be able to share his vision of football, but we all have our strengths and weaknesses, otherwise we would not be human."

Chelsea will play Dynamo Kiev in the last 16 of the Europa League, while Arsenal have been paired with Ligue 1 side Rennes.

Both Premier League clubs are at home for the first legs, which are set to be played on March 7, with the return games taking place a week later.

Sevilla, five-time winners of the competition, are also at home first in their tie with Slavia Prague.

Fellow LaLiga side Villarreal are away to Zenit first, while Valencia host more Russian opposition in Krasnodar.

Serie A giants Inter will go to Eintracht Frankfurt, with Napoli welcoming Austrian champions Salzburg in the opening leg.

"Salzburg are a great team with great international experience," said Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti. "They played in the semi-final of the Europa League [last year]. And in the group they won six games out of six. We'll have two big games!"

In the remaining match, Benfica travel to Dinamo Zagreb before hosting the conclusion of the tie.

Europa League last-16 draw in full

Chelsea v Dynamo Kiev

Eintracht Frankfurt v Inter

Dinamo Zagreb v Benfica

Napoli v Salzburg

Valencia v Krasnodar

Sevilla v Slavia Prague

Arsenal v Rennes

Zenit v Villarreal

Napoli head coach Carlo Ancelotti said Arsenal loanee and goalkeeper David Ospina will stay at the Serie A club next season.

Ospina is on loan from Premier League side Arsenal but the Colombia international revealed a move to South America could be a "possibility" after the return of Alex Meret, though he was in the XI for Sunday's goalless draw against Torino.

The 30-year-old Ospina has made 11 Serie A appearances this term since arriving on a season-long loan deal, which includes a clause for a permanent transfer depending on the number of games played.

Discussing Ospina post-match, Ancelotti told reporters: "Ospina was meant to play on Thursday in the Europa League, but wasn't feeling up to it, so I switched things around and used him [against Torino] instead.

"Ospina will remain at Napoli next season, regardless of how many games he plays."

Napoli signed Ospina on loan at the start of the season after Meret broke his arm just six days following his €22million arrival from Udinese.

Ospina is third in the pecking order at Arsenal, where Bernd Leno has established himself as the Gunners' first choice ahead of Petr Cech, who will retire at the end of the campaign.

It was a frustrating outing for Ancelotti's Napoli against Torino, who managed to hold on for a share of the spoils.

Napoli attempted 26 shots without finding the back of the net as they slipped 13 points behind Serie A leaders and reigning champions Juventus.

"From what we see on the pitch, from a mental point of view, the team looks very motivated, very focused," Ancelotti said. "We play very well, but we are not able to score the goals that we should score. In a match like this you are supposed to win for the way you performed. But if we didn't win, we can't put the blame on anyone else but ourselves, because in two matches [against Fiorentina and Torino] we had 18 chances and we didn't score a single goal."

Ancelotti added: "It is a bit funny the fact that we find ourselves here complaining about a draw when the team performed very well. The team performed well in Florence, they did very well tonight. We should have had six points [from these two matches], we only have two instead. We can't say that we were unlucky. No, it's our fault and our fault only. And that's it."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.