'Finally' - Cristiano Ronaldo ends his agonising Juventus wait - in pictures
The 25th Seria A goal this season for Portuguese star - but the first in two years in Italy from a free-kick
Cristiano Ronaldo finally scored with a free kick in Serie A to help Juventus beat Torino 4-1 in a match which also saw Gianluigi Buffon set the Serie A appearance record.
Ronaldo netted Juve’s third to take his tally to 25 league goals this season, four behind Lazio forward Ciro Immobile, who leads the Serie A scoring charts.
It was the 46th club goal Ronaldo had scored in his career direct from a free kick but his first in nearly two seasons with Juventus and on his 43rd attempt.
“I needed to score from a free kick to get some confidence back,” the 35-year-old Ronaldo said.
Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri revealed that Ronaldo told him “finally” as he walked off the field at the end of the match.
Paulo Dybala and Juan Cuadrado had scored in the first half before Andrea Belotti's penalty kick reduced the deficit. Torino defender Koffi Djidji netted an own-goal late on.
Juventus continued their march towards a record-extending 10th straight title as they moved seven points clear of second-place Lazio, who lost 3-0 at home to AC Milan.
The Turin derby was Buffon’s 648th appearance in Italy’s top flight, moving the 42-year-old goalkeeper one ahead of AC Milan great Paolo Maldini, who set the record in 2009.
Buffon only had a couple of saves to make before being faced with a penalty in first-half stoppage time after Matthijs de Ligt was somewhat harshly judged to have handled the ball.
Juventus had taken the lead in the third minute when Cuadrado threaded the ball through for Dybala, who beat two defenders before curling in his fifth goal in as many Serie A matches.
Juve doubled their advantage in the 29th minute when Ronaldo ran from well inside his own half to the penalty area and rolled the ball across for Cuadrado to fire into the bottom left corner.
And Ronaldo got on the scoresheet himself on the hour, floating the free kick over the wall and into the top left corner.
He became the first Juventus player since 1961 to score 25 league goals in a season.
Matters went from bad to worse for Torino when Djidji turned Douglas Costa's cross into his own net.
The only sour note for Juventus was that Dybala was booked as well as De Ligt and both will be suspended for Tuesday’s match against Milan.
“They are two players who are doing really well in this period but I think we have solutions,” Sarri said.
“They are important absences but two strong players will play in their place.”
Published: July 5, 2020 08:26 AM