Cristiano Ronaldo headed in his 18th league goal this season as Juventus bounced back from last week’s stalemate to soar to an 11-point lead
Cristiano Ronaldo headed in his 18th league goal this season as Juventus bounced back from last week’s stalemate to soar to an 11-point lead in Serie A on Sunday with a 3-0 win at Sassuolo.
Ronaldo proved decisive, scoring after 70 minutes as Sami Khedira found the net first in Modena with fellow German Emre Can slotting in the third four minutes from time.
The seven-time Serie A champions had been held by promoted Parma last week despite the Portugese forward’s double, but leave second-placed Napoli trailing after Carlo Ancelotti’s side were held to a goalless draw at Fiorentina on Saturday.
Juventus had started slowly with goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny saving twice in the opening minutes as the champions were without injured defenders Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini.
The pair are fighting to be fit for Juventus’s Champions League last 16 trip to Atletico Madrid in ten days time.
Juventus broke through after Sassuolo goalkeeper Andrea Consigli rushed out to parry a Ronaldo shot leaving the way clear for Khedira to turn in the rebound after 23 minutes for his second league goal of the campaign.
Consigli denied Federico Bernardeschi just before the break with a Khedira header flying wide.
But the Portuguese star jumped highest after 70 minutes to meet Pjanic’s corner for his fourth goal in his last three league games with Can coming off the bench to score from a Ronaldo assist.
Inter Milan are third — 20 points behind Juventus — after beating promoted Parma 1-0 on Saturday, for their first league win of 2019.
Atalanta are fourth, five points behind, after battling to a 2-1 win over SPAL, with Roma fourth and Lazio fifth after beating Chievo and Empoli respectively during the week.
AC Milan host Cagliari later on Sunday looking to reclaim fourth place.