Udinese 1-2 Juventus: Ronaldo late double seals crucial win

Udinese 1-2 Juventus: Cristiano Ronaldo’s heroic late double seals crucial win for Andrea Pirlo’s men in race for Champions League as they leapfrog Napoli and AC Milan into third place in Serie A

  • Cristiano Ronaldo scored two late goals to see Juventus beat Udinese 2-1
  • The win moves Juventus into the Champions League positions in Serie A
  • Nahuel Molina gave Udinese a shock early lead and Juventus were lacklustre
  • Ronaldo scored a late penalty and then headed home the winner on 89 minutes

Two late goals from Cristiano Ronaldo earned Juventus a 2-1 comeback win against Udinese on Sunday to give the Turin club a precious three points in the Serie A top-four race.

Juve climbed into third place on 69 points, level with Atalanta in second and AC Milan in fourth, but two points ahead of fifth-placed Napoli.

The visiting defence was caught napping when Udinese wing back Nahuel Molina latched onto a quickly taken freekick to fire home the opener after 10 minutes.

Cristiano Ronaldo rescued Juventus with two late goals to seal a 2-1 victory away to Udinese

Udinese players celebrate taking a shock early lead thanks to Nahuel Molina’s (right) strike

Udinese (3-5-1-1): Scuffet; Becao, Bonifazi (Santos 84), Nuytinck (Ouwejan 90+2); Molina, de Paul, Walace, Arslan (Forestieri 72), Larsen; Pereyra; Okaka

Subs not used: Zeegelaar, Makengo, Micin, Gasparini, Llorente, Palumbo, De Maio 

Booked: Arslan, Pereyra, de Paul

Goals: Molina 10

Manager: Luca Gotti 

Juventus (4-4-2): Szczesny; Sandro, Bonucci, de Ligt, Danilo; Bernardeschi (Kulusevski 59), McKennie (Rabiot 84), Bentacur, Cuadrado (Correia 84); Ronaldo, Dybala (Morata 66)

Subs not used: Buffon, Chiellini, Melo, Ramsey, Pinsoglio, Dragusin, Vrioni

Booked

Goals: Ronaldo pen 83, 89

Manager: Andrea Pirlo

Referee: Daniele Chiffi

But Rodrigo De Paul stuck out an arm to block a Ronaldo freekick with seven minutes remaining and the Portuguese converted the resulting penalty to end his run of three games without a goal.

Ronaldo then headed in an 89th-minute winner from close range to take his tally to the season to a league-high 27 Serie A goals in 30 appearances.

But the striker’s goals papered over the cracks of another poor performance from Andrea Pirlo’s team.

‘If we are satisfied with these 10 minutes, it means that we have not understood anything,’ Juve defender Leonardo Bonucci told Sky Italia.

‘We can’t change gear and keep it up for the whole game, that is the hardest thing to understand.

‘Matches are decided by episodes, after this many games you need to pay attention to the details. We have dropped points too many times because of the details.’

Juve knew before kickoff that they had the chance to gain ground in the top-four race after Atalanta and Napoli drew against Sassuolo and Cagliari respectively.

But they got off to the worst possible start when De Paul found Molina with a quick freekick, and he drilled in a finish.

It was the tenth consecutive league game in which Juve have conceded at least one goal, their worst record since April 2010.

Juve’s Weston McKennie was left punching the ground in frustration after heading wide from six yards and Paulo Dybala’s deflected shot required a smart save from Simone Scuffet.

But the visitors’ chances were few and far between until Ronaldo’s decisive contribution in the closing stages.

De Paul’s handball gave the Portuguese forward the chance to fire a penalty into the bottom corner, and the 36-year-old turned the game on its head when he nodded in an Adrien Rabiot cross at the back post.    

Ronaldo converted a penalty in the 83rd minute after his free-kick struck an arm in the wall

The Portuguese followed up with the winner six minutes later, heading home into the corner




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