Cristiano Ronaldo nets hat-trick, gives assist as Juventus put Cagliari to the sword (Match Report)

January 6th, 2020 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Cristiano Ronaldo ably marshalled Juventus’ demolition of Cagliari, scoring a hat-trick despite the visitors’ early resistance.

The Sardinians had not beaten Juve in the league since November 2009, followed by three draws from 17 encounters.

It took a very long time for this game to get going, as Ramsey and Dybala failed to keep their shots on target, while Cristiano Ronaldo was offside when his header forced a great save from Olsen.

Defender Merih Demiral was picked for the fifth game in a row rather than Matthijs de Ligt and showed why, as his header from a Miralem Pjanic corner clipped the crossbar.

Radja Nainggolan had the only real Cagliari chance to make an impact in the first half when sent clear by Giovanni Simeone on the counter, but he slipped at the crucial moment.

Juve did finally break through after the restart thanks to some shocking defending from the Sardinians. They were passing it slowly and sluggishly on the edge of their own penalty area, so Ronaldo pounced and went around Olsen to turn into an empty net. For the first time in his career, CR7 scored in five consecutive Serie A appearances.

It was nearly 2-0 moments later, as Olsen showed cat-like reflexes for a triple save on Paulo Dybala from close range, as the ball ricocheted around in the six-yard box.

Cagliari did threaten, as Wojciech Szczesny had to fingertip a Giovanni Simeone header on to the top of the bar from close range.

However, Marko Rog tripped Dybala in the penalty area and Ronaldo kept his cool to convert the spot-kick past Olsen, giving Juve more of a cushion.

Cagliari crumbled at the end, as Ronaldo decided to turn assist man with a pass down the left channel to send substitute Higuain forward, there was no real support, so Pipita cut back inside and blasted into the far bottom corner.

Less than a minute later, Douglas Costa made an impact with his sprint through the centre, slide-rule pass for Ronaldo’s angled drive, completing a hat-trick.

Douglas Costa ran almost from one end to the other, going down under pressure with no response to his penalty appeals.

Cagliari could’ve had a consolation goal late on, but Joao Pedro turned his marker to hit the top of the post.

Photo Credit: Twitter @juventusfc

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