Cristiano Ronaldo showed quick reactions to score two goals just before half-time, giving Juventus a confidence-boosting 2-0 win over Cagliari.
The Bianconeri were forced to revamp their defence, as Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Aaron Ramsey injured, so Matthijs de Ligt was rushed back for his first game since shoulder surgery in August and Juan Cuadrado was made captain. The Sardinians lost Diego Godin to COVID-19, Nahitan Nandez was isolating as a precaution, Luca Ceppitelli, Paolo Faragò and Charalampos Lykogiannis injured.
Federico Bernardeschi fired in at the end of a wonderful team move on 12 minutes, but it was disallowed because Alvaro Morata was offside on the assist.
Cuadrado laid off a ball for Dejan Kulusevski to fire inches wide of the far post, while Bernardeschi’s first-time strike was straight at Alessio Cragno.
Juventus finally made the pressure count, as Ronaldo cut inside from the left and fired a right-foot rocket into the far bottom corner. The assist was provided by Morata.
Moments later, it was 2-0 for the Bianconeri and Ronaldo was on target yet again. A corner was flicked on by Merih Demiral to the back post, it was slightly behind Ronaldo, so he improvised by leaning his leg back to flick it in from seven yards.
Riccardo Sottil came on for the second half, as Cagliari returned to their more traditional 4-2-3-1 formation. Demiral almost got Juve’s third goal when his header from a corner cannoned off the crossbar on 53 minutes.
Alessio Cragno palmed a Bernardeschi effort round the post after Ronaldo’s dummy let the Kulusevski ball through on the counter-attack.
It was a very different attitude after the break, the Bianconeri focused entirely on the counter-attack and almost inviting Cagliari forward.
Morata turned over from a very promising position after he was set up by Bernardeschi, then Cagliari also had a goal ruled offside. Ragnar Klavan’s header from a corner earned him a nasty cut after a clash of heads with De Ligt and no goal, as there was an earlier offside from Razvan Marin.
Paulo Dybala came off the bench and forced a save from Cragno’s foot, with the Kulusevski follow-up charged down. Bernardeschi also tested Cragno in stoppages.
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