MATCH REPORT: CAGLIARI 1-3 JUVENTUS

Ronaldo bagging a perfect hat-trick within 32 minutes, as Juventus won 3-1. The Bianconeri were in desperate need of a boost after their midweek Champions League exit to 10-man Porto, fuelling reports of a Ronaldo exit.


Paulo Dybala, Merih Demiral, Aaron Ramsey, Gigi Buffon, and Rodrigo Bentancur didn’t make the trip. The Sardinians were transformed under Leonardo Semplici with seven points from three games, but Leonardo Pavoletti and Charalampos Lykogiannis were suspended, with Riccardo Sottile and Marko Rog injured.

For the first time, Juve started Federico Chiesa, Dejan Kulusevski, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Alvaro Morata together.

It took under 10 minutes to break the deadlock, Juan Cuadrado’s corner finding Ronaldo for a free header from six yards.

CR7 was booked moments later for dangerous play, as he went in high to meet a Chiesa cross, clattering Alessio Cragno in the face, leaving him with a cut to the chin. Some would suggest it was worthy of a red card.

Morata’s finish was too weak and straight at Cragno, then the Spaniard rolled across for Ronaldo, who was caught by the goalkeeper for a penalty. Ronaldo converted it himself with sheer power, despite Cragno getting something on it.

Giorgio Chiellini needed a crucial interception to stop Joao Pedro from nodding in Radja Nainggolan’s cross at the back post.

However, Ronaldo completed his hat-trick, gathering Chiesa’s cross, a little shimmy to unnerve Daniele Rugani, and then blasting into the far top corner. It was also a perfect hat-trick, as he scored with his head, right foot, and left.

Alex Sandro went off with an injury, making way for Federico Bernardeschi. After the restart, Cagliari had penalty appeals, but Juan Cuadrado nodded the ball onto his arm, which was in a natural position while jumping, so the referee considered it to be involuntary.

Alfred Duncan’s free-kick tested Wojciech Szczesny, then the goalkeeper flew to fingertip a Razvan Marin strike over the bar.

The goal had been coming and Zappa burst away from Bernardeschi down the right to pull back for Giovanni Simeone to slide in from close range.

Joao Pedro had penalty appeals but seemed to be looking for the contact and Adrien Rabiot pulled away just in time.

Substitute Gaston Pereiro almost made it 3-2 late on with his angled drive skimming the far post.

Ronaldo could've had a fourth with the final kick of the game when sent clear, but Cragno bravely rushed off his line to make the block.



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