Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo scored a first-half brace to return Juventus to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Cagliari in their Serie A clash at the Allianz Stadium on Saturday.
In their last game against Lazio, Juve conceded a last-gasp goal to draw the match. It meant that they had only won three of their seven league outings this term. However, Ronaldo inspired them to three points on Saturday by scoring for the fifth league game running.
The 35-year-old curled in the opening goal with 38 minutes played and grabbed a second with an impressive hooked finish shortly before the interval.
Andrea Pirlo’s charges could not find the goal to increase their tally but Ronaldo’s double was enough as they moved into second place, albeit having played a game more than a majority of the teams on the log.
Right winger Federico Bernardeschi rounded off a flowing team move with a thunderous finish after 11 minutes but the goal was ruled out for offside with Alvaro Morata being behind the defence in the build-up.
The lively Bernardeschi had a shot saved by Alessio Cragno, in goal for Cagliari, while midfielder Dejan Kulusevski fired wide from a good position. Then, in the 38th minute, Ronaldo cut onto his right and picked out the far corner.
The star did not have to wait long for his second. He employed an improvisation to score by sticking out a leg to send Merih Demiral’s flick-on flying past Cragno from eight yards.
To add to his assist in that second goal, Demiral nearly scored one himself. But, his powerful header cannoned off the crossbar. Then, Cragno kept out another attempt from Bernardeschi three minutes later. All these missed chances nearly came back to haunt the home side.
Estonian centre back Ragnar Klavan nodded into the bottom corner with a little over 20 minutes left. But, it did not count because of a foul on returning Juve defender Matthijs de Ligt.
Juventus are back in the Champions League on Tuesday when they welcome Ferencvaros while Cagliari also play host but to Hellas Verona in the Coppa Italia on Wednesday.