Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace as Juventus returned to winning ways with a 3-0 win over Crotone to keep Andrea Pirlo’s men in the series A title race
The pressure was on the old lady after two defeats to Napoli and Porto, but the defending Italian champions secured the much-needed result to move up to third, eight points behind pacemaker Inter
Juventus dominated most of the first half, but had to go until 38 Wait a minute to get the breakthrough Ronaldo headed a cross from Alex Sandro from the depths home
And Ronaldo soon doubled his and Juventus’ advantage, this time with a header into the back of the Crotone net after Aaron Ramsey staged a cross for the Portuguese striker to attack
Ronaldo had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to score a quick hat-trick before the break but somehow held his target wide as the goal gaped Weston McKennie however added a third for Juventus in the second half when the hosts swept Crotone aside
If there is one area in Pirlo’s Juventus team that has been scrutinized more closely than anyone, it is midfield.It’s in the middle of the pitch where the old lady’s lack of identity and clear approach is at its best most obvious, but this was a better portrayal of the men in the middle Aaron Ramsey offered ride while Federico Chiesa was given the freedom to float wherever he saw space that could be exploited.Pirlo still lacks a central anchor, but there were at least some signs of encouragement from this midfield unit
While Chiesa was arguably Juventus’ most creative player, it was Ronaldo who made the biggest difference by putting the finishing touches on goal, the Portuguese striker has scored 17 goals in 18 Serie A games this season If Juve is still in the Scudetto race, it is only the brilliance of Ronaldo who showed how he sharpened his game to be the perfect goalscorer with this performance. Only the third goal was missing for his hat trick
Juventus – Buffon 6, Danilo 5, Demiral 5, De Ligt 7, Sandro 6, Chiesa 8, Bentancur 5, McKennie 7, Ramsey 7, Kulusevski 6, Ronaldo 8 Subs – Morata 5, Bernardeschi 5, Frabotta 3, Fagioli 4, Di Pardo 3
Crotone – Cordaz 8, Pereira 5, Magallan 5, Golemic 5, Luperto 4, Messias 6, Molina 5, Vulic 5, Reca 6, Ounas 5, Di Carmine 4 Subs – Riviere 4, Simy 6, Rispoli 4, Marrone 4, Zanellato 3
37 ’From the bar! Chiesa’s cross at the back post hits Ramsey but the Welsh midfielder could only steer his header off the crossbar. Cordaz could have his fingertips to do so! Juve is getting closer!
38 ’GOAL! Juventus 1-0 Crotone: The breakthrough has come and Juventus has gone! The cross in the box was good, the Portuguese striker lost his marker and went to the back of the net! That goal had come for the defending Italian champion!
45 1 ’GOAL! Juventus 2-0 Crotone: Suddenly Juventus has two goals ahead and Ronaldo has got a second! Ramsey stages the cross in the middle and Ronaldo was completely free and high up to take a header home! In no case was he missing that!
45 2 ’How did he miss it ?! Chiesa burst through the middle and then played a square ball for Ronaldo, who was ready to hit the net for his hat trick! But somehow he’s far from the post office!
66 ’GOAL! Juventus 3-0 Crotone: It’s the third goal for Juventus and it’s McKennie who found the back of the net! De Ligt hits a corner kick on the back post and the American midfielder is on hand to take a powerful finish home!
Weston McKennie is now the highest-scoring American (four) in Serie A history, overtaking Michael Bradley’s previous record of three goals
Crotone is 78 Team in the five best leagues in Europe, against which Cristiano Ronaldo scored. Only Zlatan Ibrahimovic (79) has scored against more since 2000
Juventus FC., FC. Crotone, Serie A, Cristiano Ronaldo, Andrea Pirlo
News – GB – Juventus 3-0 Crotone: Cristiano Ronaldo sends Juve to third place in Serie A twice
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