Cristiano Ronaldo rescues Juventus at the death

Date: 2nd May 2021 at 7:55pm
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A late Cristiano Ronaldo brace rescued Juventus at the Dacia Arena, as they came from behind to secure a 2-1 win over Udinese.

Having relinquished their control of the Scudetto to Inter earlier in the day, the Bianconeri saw their hopes of Champions League qualification dealt a blow as Nahuel Molina fired in early in the first half.

Rodrigo De Paul conceded a late penalty after handling a Cristiano Ronaldo freekick, and the Portuguese drilled in the spot kick to salvage a point, before netting with a header in the final minute.

Juventus made a difficult start to the match and struggled to carve out an opening. The outgoing champions found themselves behind after just 10 minutes, as a quickly taken De Paul freekick released Molina in the box, and he made no mistake in firing across Wojciech Szczesny and into the far corner.

The visitors squandered a glorious opportunity to draw level shortly before the half-hour mark as Weston McKennie met a Juan Cuadrado corner with a diving header, but the American dragged it wide from close range.

Meanwhile, Paulo Dybala forced a fine low save from Simone Scuffet after his deflected effort appeared destined for the bottom corner.

Having taken an early lead, Udinese showed little attacking intent but were organised in defence, frustrating Juventus in the final third.

Udinese began the second half as they ended the first, but saw a good opportunity wasted as Stefano Okaka teed up Tolgay Arslan, only for him to fire into the side netting from inside the box.

Juventus lacked urgency but the introduction of Dejan Kulusevksi provided a spark, with the Swede setting up McKennie for a low shot that was blocked.

However, both sides lacked quality to force a goal, as the match became a battleground in midfield. Yet, it remained Udinese who looked most likely to score, with Jens Stryger Larsen weaving his way through and bending an effort just past the post.

At the other end, Kevin Bonifazi’s low block denied Ronaldo in the box from an Alex Sandro cutback, with the Portuguese growing increasingly frustrated.

Juventus were awarded a late penalty after De Paul handballed from a Ronaldo freekick whilst in the wall, and the forward made no mistake in firing in from the spot.

With less than a minute of the 90 remaining, Ronaldo rescued the points for his side as he ghosted in at the back post and headed an Adrien Rabiot cross beyond Scuffet.


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