Cristiano Ronaldo scores his 100th goal as Juventus stay in fight for the Champions League
A 3-1 win at Sassuolo keeps Juve in striking distance of top four
Cristiano Ronaldo's 100th goal for Juventus helped keep alive their hopes of a top-four Serie A finish after a 3-1 win at impressive Sassuolo.
The result was not easy to come by for Juve, with returning goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon saving an early penalty, but goals from Adrien Rabiot, Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala meant they stayed fifth, two points off the Champions League qualification places.
Buffon, who announced this week that he is leaving the club at the end of the season, replaced Wojciech Szczesny in goal and immediately showed he has lost none of his ability as he brilliantly kept out Domenico Berardi's spot-kick.
The chances kept coming for the home side, and their wastefulness proved costly as Rabiot drilled home the opener in the 28th minute, before Ronaldo reached another milestone just before the break with a cool finish from the edge of the area.
Sassuolo continued to do everything but score, until Giacomo Raspadori finally beat Buffon just before the hour mark.
But Dybala also reached a century of Juve goals, with a fine dinked finish, to ensure they kept pace with their top-four rivals Atalanta, AC Milan and Napoli, who all won in the latest round of matches, with two games to play.
With the pressure mounting on coach Andrea Pirlo after a meek surrender in a 3-0 loss to Milan at the weekend, it was imperative they did not drop more points.
"It was important to win tonight, we were so poor in the match with Milan," Rabiot said. "We wanted to do more, we suffered but the attitude was the right one."
"We are all angry, Juve must do better. We must try to win the last two games and see what happens."
Published: May 13, 2021 08:29 AM