Ronaldo scores twice as Juve win

Ronaldo

Ronaldo

CRISTIANO Ronaldo struck twice, including a thunderous 25-yard drive, as Italian champions Juventus surged seven points clear in Serie A on Saturday, following a battling 2-1 victory at Empoli.

Empoli, without a win since the opening weekend of the season, grabbed a 28th-minute lead at the Stadio Carlo Castellani as Francesco Caputo curled home following a lung-busting run by Afriyie Acquah.

But Juventus turned to their €100-million man Ronaldo in the second half, as the Portugal forward equalised from the spot before blasting home a magnificent second to secure a ninth win in 10 Serie A matches for Massimiliano Allegri’s team.

“It was a very complicated game. We knew it would be difficult, especially after a Champions League tie and we were a bit tired,” Ronaldo told Sky Sport Italia.

“We stayed in the game, increased our possession, created more chances after the break and in the end deserved the victory.

“I don’t remember the goal very well, I’ll have to watch it again! It all happened very quickly, but I felt confident and I went for the goal.”

After Caputo’s opener, the hosts appealed for a penalty when Miha Zajc’s shot glanced the arm of Leonardo Bonucci as he attempted to charge down the attempt, but the referee opted against punishing the Italy defender after reviewing the incident on video.

But Juve hit back when Paulo Dybala pinched the ball off a dallying Ismael Bennacer in the Empoli box, drawing a penalty as the Algeria midfielder proceeded to bundle over the Argentine.– Reuters

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