MATCH REPORT: JUVENTUS 3-0 CROTONE

That's the way we do it. The Old Lady is back in the title race. Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Juventus strolled to a 3-0 home win over bottom side Crotone in Serie A on Monday, with the victory taking the champions up to third in the standings.

Juve was a little sluggish to get going, but their ever-reliable talisman arrived to meet an Alex Sandro cross in the 38th minute to give Andrea Pirlo's side the lead.

Ronaldo looked hungry for more and another bullet header in first-half stoppage time doubled the lead, taking Portugal forward back to the top of the league's scoring charts on 18 goals, one ahead of Inter Milan's Romelu Lukaku.

The 36-year-old had chances to complete a hat-trick but it was Weston McKennie who added the third, hammering home his fourth Serie A goal of the season in the 66th minute.

A first win in four matches in all competitions ensured Juve climbed from sixth to third in the table and onto 45 points, eight behind leaders Inter with a game in hand.

Juventus had won their last six Serie A fixtures played on a Monday but the visitors had the first big chance when Danilo slipped at the far post and gave Reca an opportunity, but he missed it wide.

The very slow pace at the start and Dejan Kulusevski’s shot wide from a rebound was the biggest change within the first 12 minutes.


Aaron Ramsey had a big chance after 18 minutes but didn’t get proper contact with the ball when he was finishing from left. Great build-up play by Danilo who combined with Ronaldo and then found the Welsh midfielder at left.

Cristiano had a chance halfway from a free-kick just outside the area, but the finish was blocked by his teammate Weston McKennie in the wall.


The Portuguese then missed a tap-in at the far post, as Federico Chiesa did well to find him with a cross but the ball took a small deflection on its way and put off Ronaldo.


After 38 minutes, he finally finds the net, as Alex Sandro finds him unmarked at the far post, and this time he makes no mistakes with a great header across the goal and behind Alex Cordaz.


He then almost created the second by himself testing the goalkeeper with a long-range effort, the ball ended up with Ramsey at left and the former Arsenal man found Ronaldo with the cross.

Ronaldo leaped and a powerful header found the back of the net for a second time.


And the 35-year-old was close to completing the hat-trick just moments after, when he was played through at right, beating the goalkeeper with his fun and the pass from Ramsey found Ronaldo, who missed the target with his sliding finish.


Juventus moved the ball around for much of the first half and Crotone couldn’t find the target in the first half.

Crotone pushed in the initial stage of the second half, but never quite found a way through to test Buffon in the Bianconeri goal.


Juventus gradually took over and after 57 minutes the match had the same flow as the first half, where the home side was moving the ball around.

Juventus arrived time after time and seemed comfortable in both phases of the game, eventually finding the net for the third time through McKennie.

A Chiesa corner to the far post was headed down by Matthijs de Ligt, who then called for a handball. But the ball ended up with McKennie, who let it bounce once before the American smashed it into the back of the net.


Ramsey was close to finding the net right before he was substituted and replaced by Federico Bernardeschi.

Chiesa played through Ronaldo, but it was just behind the Portuguese and somehow Ramsey was through one-on-one with the goalkeeper, who gets a foot on the finish and parried it wide for a corner.


Substitute Simy had a chance just before full-time but even if he was unmarked in the box, the effort was without power and easy for Buffon to deal with.


Crotone never really threatened to make a game out of it in the second half and Juventus were completely in control and are back on track with a comfortable win.




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