Cristiano Ronaldo hit again at his critics with a quick-fire hat-trick as Juventus brushed apart Cagliari Three-1 on Sunday, 5 days after their Champions League elimination, whereas Inter Milan moved 9 factors clear on the Serie A summit.
Portuguese star Ronaldo bore the brunt of the criticism for Juve’s newest European flop after failing to attain in both leg of the last-16 defeat by Porto, whereas additionally being partly at fault for what proved to be the profitable purpose.
However the 36-year-old scored a header after lower than 9 minutes on the Sardegna Area, added a second from the penalty spot, and accomplished a ‘excellent’ treble on 32 minutes with a fantastic left-footed strike.
Defending champions Juventus are 10 factors behind Inter Milan, who beat Torino 2-1 earlier Sunday, however with a sport in hand.
Andrea Pirlo’s facet pulled only one level behind second-placed AC Milan, who host Napoli later Sunday, as they attempt to maintain their push for a 10th consecutive Scudetto alive.
Ronaldo broke the impasse early on, rising excessive to nod in a Juan Cuadrado nook.
However he might have been despatched off after 1 / 4 of an hour, receiving solely a yellow card for harmful play as his boot struck Cagliari goalkeeper Alessio Cragno within the face whereas making an attempt to satisfy a Federico Chiesa cross.
Ronaldo’s second got here from the penalty spot within the 24th minute after being introduced down by Cragno.
He accomplished the 57th treble of his profession when he collected Chiesa’s move and blasted a left-footed strike into the Cagliari internet, on the solely stadium within the Italian prime flight the place he had not beforehand scored.
Ronaldo is the main scorer in Serie A with 23 objectives this season, forward of Inter’s Romelu Lukaku, who has 19.
It was his third hat-trick for Juventus since becoming a member of in 2018, after additionally placing three previous Cagliari within the league final season and within the Champions League in opposition to Atletico Madrid in 2019.
Earlier than kick-off, Juventus chief soccer officer Fabio Paratici dismissed speak about Ronaldo’s future.
“It makes me snicker. I might by no means have imagined discussing the worth of Cristiano Ronaldo,” stated Paratici.
“It’s a privilege to have him with us, he’s a part of our future.”
Cagliari, two factors above the relegation zone, pulled a purpose again by Giovanni Simeone within the 61st minute.
Martinez pulls Inter clear
Lautaro Martinez scored an excellent 85th-minute winner for Inter in a good sport in opposition to 18th-placed Torino.
Antonio Conte’s Inter as soon as once more wanted their strike duo of Lukaku and Martinez to discover a strategy to win in Turin.
Christian Eriksen got here off the bench on 56 minutes and had a right away impression, enjoying a component within the transfer which resulted in Torino defender Armando Izzo fouling Martinez within the penalty space.
Lukaku fired dwelling the ensuing spot-kick within the 62nd minute.
Inter seemed to be wobbling when Antonio Sanabria pulled Torino degree eight minutes later, ending off goalmouth scramble.
However Martinez snatched the victory by getting his head to an Alexis Sanchez cross for his 14th league purpose this time period.
Inter stretched their profitable run to eight matches to maneuver additional forward of AC Milan.
“Victories like these are essential,” stated Inter assistant coach Cristian Stellini, with Antonio Conte serving a touchline ban.
“The three factors had been additionally important for Torino who gave little away.”
Harm-hit Roma dropped to fifth, two factors behind Atalanta and the Champions League berths after falling 2-Zero at 19th-placed Parma who earned their first win since November 30.
Valentin Mihaila opened the scoring on 9 minutes following a cross from fellow Romanian Dennis Man.
Hernani added a second from the spot within the second half to safe a priceless win which strikes Parma a degree behind Torino, who’ve performed two video games fewer due to a coronavirus outbreak, and three from security.