A brace of Cristiano Ronaldo penalties helped hand a sluggish Juventus side a 3-0 win over Fiorentina on Sunday and moved I Bianconeri six points clear at the Serie A summit.
Chances fell for both sides in an entertaining first half, with Juventus having two penalty shouts turned down before referee
Marco Benassi flashed a fierce drive wide in the second half just moments before
Key Talking Point
After a sub-par showing away at Napoli last time out, Maurizio Sarri opted to drop Paulo Dybala from the starting lineup. Douglas Costa came into the forward line and immediately Juventus showed more intent, throwing men forward in search of an early goal.
What will have been worrying for Sarri was his side’s inability to break down a Fiorentina side who sat 14th in Serie A. Furthermore, the fact the visitors grew into the game and missed good chances of their own is added cause for concern.
The counter-pressing Sarri loves to instil was on show on Sunday, but I Bianconeri were far too sluggish and laboured in possession. Two penalties spared their blushes, but this level of performance will not suffice if they are to secure the league title this season. Inter and Lazio both looks strong, and Sunday’s scoreline was wholly unfair on Fiorentina. Performances must improve, and soon.
Starting XI: Szczesny (7); Cuadrado (7), De Ligt (6), Bonucci (7), Sandro (7); Betancur (6), Pjanic (6), Rabiot (7); Costa (6), Higuain (5), Ronaldo (7*)
Substitutes: Dybala (5),
Was it his best game? No, nowhere near. Was his contribution simply scoring two penalties? Yes, it was. Did Cristiano Ronaldo win his side three exceedingly valuable points? You betcha.
Nothing about Juventus’ performance on Sunday was vintage, with slow attacking play and a lack of creativity making for painful viewing to those in attendance. However, twice they were given the opportunity to score from the spot, which means, of course, they would naturally score two goals.
That’s because we’re talking about Ronaldo, who just doesn’t miss. Juventus weren’t great, neither really was Ronaldo, but he doesn’t need to be great to score two goals. He is, after all, Ronaldo.
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored more Serie A goals (40) since he joined Juventus than any other player in the competition.
Just when you think he might start slowing down… pic.twitter.com/60GSXrRS9e
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 2, 2020
Starting XI: Dragowski (6); Igor (9*), Pezzella (5), Ceccherini (6), Lirola (6), Benassi (7), Pulgar (7), Dalbert (8); Chiesa (7), Cutrone (7), Ghezzal (7)
Substitutes: Vlahovic (7), Sottil (7), Agudelo (N/A)
Juventus will take a trip to Verona next Saturday in Serie A. Meanwhile, Fiorentina are in action as they host Atalanta next in Italy’s top flight.