Maurizio Sarri praised the "incredible" Cristiano Ronaldo after the star's pair of penalties helped Juventus draw 2-2 with Atalanta.

Ronaldo converted two spot-kicks in Turin on Saturday as Juve took another step towards the Serie A title.

The Portugal international cancelled out Duvan Zapata's opener before securing a point in the 90th minute after Ruslan Malinovskiy had restored Atalanta's lead.

Sarri, whose side are eight points clear at the top with six games to play, hailed Ronaldo's ability to handle the pressure.

"He is a champion with his feet but also with his head," Sarri told a news conference.

"He manages to handle the pressures he has on him in an incredible way."

Juventus were coming off a 4-2 loss to Milan on Tuesday, and maintained a nine-point lead over third-placed Atalanta.

Sarri felt Juventus deserved their point, with their busy run of fixtures continuing against Sassuolo on Wednesday.

"Tonight's point was sweaty and deserved. We drew against one of the best teams in Europe, and it's a very important result," he said.

"Merit goes to a second half of quality, in which we attacked Atalanta higher, while focusing on their physical decline, and we scored goals in our best moment.

"The game in Milan, in which we played well for a long time, could have left us with waste. In the first half we suffered, but in the second half we came out well.

"The Scudetto race is by no means closed, there are still 18 points available. It is a very difficult phase of the season, the games are very expensive, and it is difficult to find continuity."

Cristiano Ronaldo twice scored from the penalty spot as Juventus put an end to Atalanta's winning streak, the Serie A leaders rallying late to secure a 2-2 draw on Saturday.

Substitute Ruslan Malinovskiy fired in an 80th-minute goal that had Gian Piero Gasperini's in-form side on course to move into second place in the table courtesy of a 10th straight league win.

Duvan Zapata had put the visitors into the lead as they dominated in the first half, though they were pegged back soon after the break when a handball call against Marten de Roon allowed Ronaldo to level.

Having surrendered a two-goal lead to lose 4-2 at Milan in midweek, Maurizio Sarri's side appeared on course to suffer a second successive loss, in the process cutting their lead at the summit to six points.

However, referee Piero Giacomelli pointed to the spot for a second time when the ball struck Luis Muriel's arm in the 90th minute, allowing Ronaldo to deny Atalanta and leave Juve eight clear of Lazio.

 

 

Juventus pulled off a transfer coup when they signed Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid on July 10, 2018.

The Portugal great left Madrid as the club's all-time record goalscorer and seeking a new challenge in the autumn years of his career.

Ronaldo remains a master goalscorer and has quickly amassed an impressive record, with Juve in the box seat to claim another Scudetto in 2019-20.

Here, with some help from Opta, we look at the form that means the 35-year-old remains one of the very best players on the planet.

58 – Ronaldo's overall goals tally for Juve has come in 82 appearances.

0.71 – This amounts to a goals per game ratio below the 1.03 he averaged at Madrid, where he netted a scarcely credible 450 in 438 appearances

47 – His Serie A goals haul means he is already the top-scoring Portuguese player in the history of the competition. Since the start of 2018-19, it places Ronaldo fourth in Europe's top leagues, behind Lionel Messi (58), Robert Lewandowski (56) and Kylian Mbappe (51).

26 – This season, Ronaldo's is the first Juventus player to score 26 goals in a single Serie A campaign since Omar Sivori scored 28 in 1959-60.

25 – For the 10th time in his career, Ronaldo has passed 25 goals in a league season. No other player in Europe's top five leagues has bettered this, with Messi having also accomplished the feat on 10 occasions.

30 – For the 11th time in his career, the former Manchester United favourite has registered 30 goals in all competitions this term.

336 – No player in Europe's top divisions has had more shots than Ronaldo over the past two seasons. Only Messi (153) has more than his 133 on target.

5.5 – Ronaldo's shots-per-game average for the Old Lady, down on 6.3 at Madrid.

15 - His assist figure at Juve, from 122 chances created. That's an average of 1.5 per game.

The touching pre-match tribute to Ennio Morricone, the great Italian film composer who died, aged 91, on Monday, fitted nicely for what was about to unfold at San Siro.

Possibly for the last time in their decorated careers, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic – two of the most destructive gunslingers in modern European football – were ready to do battle as Milan and Juventus lined up.

More so than perhaps any other players of their generation, Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic's on-field deeds have frequently carried cinematic qualities. From the rippling physiques and inimitable preening, to their seamless combination of brute force and artistry, both men scream Hollywood.

Characters who polarise the audience were always the best pegs for Morricone's irresistibly lush arrangements and Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic are good, bad and ugly to many all at the same time. If Lionel Messi's lack of overt edge leaves you cold, these two have always been your guys. Your antiheroes.

While Ronaldo and Messi existed unrelentingly in one another's orbit for the best part of a decade, the fleeting and often explosive addition of Ibrahimovic to the equation has usually left fans wanting more.

It is churlish to bemoan the lack of spectators given the ongoing gravity of the global situation but some occasions miss a live audience more than others. This potentially final installment of a flashpoint rivalry was one of those.

Although this match eventually made a case of its own, they were never likely to top the stupendous 2013 World Cup qualification play-off, where the pair scored all the goals over two legs that concluded with Portugal eliminating Sweden on away goals. Morricone could have gone to town on that one. Drama, tension, plot-twists, elation, despair. It had everything.

Almost seven years on, each player is past the peak they revelled in back then, even if Ronaldo's absurd goal scoring numbers make a compelling counter-argument.

The passage of time necessitates refinement. Today they are wily, all-knowing stars in complete control and happy to exist on the margins, rather than all-action leading men – more Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino than his Man With No Name pomp.

This was their lot during a brooding first half. Ronaldo cut inside from the left win to thump a trademark dipping drive just beyond the far post. He was more frequently seen remonstrating with the officials, most notably when Ibrahimovic's penchant for martial arts was on display and his boot grazed the five-time Ballon d'Or winner's ear as he attacked a right-win set piece.

Ibrahimovic twice brought routine saves from Wojciech Szczesny before breaking clear in stoppage time. 1-0? No, cut! Offside, and the deadlock remained.

Tearing the length of the field to score goal-of-the-season contenders might no longer be Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic's game, but Adrien Rabiot happily made that his business in the 47th minute.

The former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder barged Franck Kessie out of the way and nutmegged Theo Hernandez to cross the halfway line on the right wing. Rabiot then opened his elegant stride to breeze beyond Alessio Romagnoli and brought things to a thrilling crescendo. As Milan's defence scattered he unfurled a majestic left-footed strike into the top-right corner.

A befuddled Rossoneri were struggling to regain composure – none too effectively in the case of Andrea Conti and Simon Kjaer, who got in each other's way defending Juan Cuadrado's raking ball.

And there he was. Ronaldo, finger on the trigger. Goal 26 of the Serie A campaign was a formality and Juve were going 10 points clear of a faltering Lazio.

Only, one man had other ideas. It was time for an audacious third-act twist almost too implausible for any composition.

The VAR playback of the 62nd-minute scene did no favours for Leonardo Bonucci. Handball. Penalty. Of course Ibrahimovic stepped up. Of course he scored.

There he was again four minutes later, that strapping back onto which you could probably project movies facing the Juventus goal. Ibrahimovic's penalty box presence was as booming as his lay-off was deft. Kessie was on hand for a redemptive finish, his earlier humiliation at the hands of Rabiot forgotten.

Ibrahimovic then left the chaos, his part played perfectly. But Milan were not done as Ronaldo's compatriot Rafael Leao ensured 0-2 had become 3-2 in the space of five berserk minutes.

If he'd been tasked with soundtracking this undulating drama, Morricone might have been tearing up his score at this point. At the very least, the keen Roma fan would have been disgruntled at the unlikely lifeline handed to Lazio's ailing Scudetto bid.

A roof-falling-in error from Alex Sandro allowed Ante Rebic to complete a 4-2 triumph. Six goals, the perfect number.

At full-time, Ibrahimovic strode around, a picture of satisfaction. Topless, of course. Just as Ronaldo, beaten and wounded, would have done had roles been reversed.

Perhaps the veteran Swede will survive the behind-the-scenes ructions at Milan to return next season. Is another sequel with the intoxicating sound and colour of the tifosi as opposed to the eerie emptiness of now too much to ask?

The touching pre-match tribute to Ennio Morricone, the great Italian film composer who died, aged 91, on Monday, fitted nicely for what was about to unfold at San Siro.

Possibly for the last time in their decorated careers, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic – two of the most destructive gunslingers in modern European football – were ready to do battle as Milan and Juventus lined up.

More so than perhaps any other players of their generation, Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic's on-field deeds have frequently carried cinematic qualities. From the rippling physiques and inimitable preening, to their seamless combination of brute force and artistry, both men scream Hollywood.

Characters who polarise the audience were always the best pegs for Morricone's irresistibly lush arrangements and Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic are good, bad and ugly to many all at the same time. If Lionel Messi's lack of overt edge leaves you cold, these two have always been your guys. Your antiheroes.

While Ronaldo and Messi existed unrelentingly in one another's orbit for the best part of a decade, the fleeting and often explosive addition of Ibrahimovic to the equation has usually left fans wanting more.

It is churlish to bemoan the lack of spectators given the ongoing gravity of the global situation but some occasions miss a live audience more than others. This potentially final installment of a flashpoint rivalry was one of those.

Although this match eventually made a case of its own, they were never likely to top the stupendous 2013 World Cup qualification play-off, where the pair scored all the goals over two legs that concluded with Portugal eliminating Sweden on away goals. Morricone could have gone to town on that one. Drama, tension, plot-twists, elation, despair. It had everything.

Almost seven years on, each player is past the peak they revelled in back then, even if Ronaldo's absurd goal scoring numbers make a compelling counter-argument.

The passage of time necessitates refinement. Today they are wily, all-knowing stars in complete control and happy to exist on the margins, rather than all-action leading men – more Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino than his Man With No Name pomp.

This was their lot during a brooding first half. Ronaldo cut inside from the left win to thump a trademark dipping drive just beyond the far post. He was more frequently seen remonstrating with the officials, most notably when Ibrahimovic's penchant for martial arts was on display and his boot grazed the five-time Ballon d'Or winner's ear as he attacked a right-win set piece.

Ibrahimovic twice brought routine saves from Wojciech Szczesny before breaking clear in stoppage time. 1-0? No, cut! Offside, and the deadlock remained.

Tearing the length of the field to score goal-of-the-season contenders might no longer be Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic's game, but Adrien Rabiot happily made that his business in the 47th minute.

The former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder barged Franck Kessie out of the way and nutmegged Theo Hernandez to cross the halfway line on the right wing. Rabiot then opened his elegant stride to breeze beyond Alessio Romagnoli and brought things to a thrilling crescendo. As Milan's defence scattered he unfurled a majestic left-footed strike into the top-right corner.

A befuddled Rossoneri were struggling to regain composure – none too effectively in the case of Andrea Conti and Simon Kjaer, who got in each other's way defending Juan Cuadrado's raking ball.

And there he was. Ronaldo, finger on the trigger. Goal 26 of the Serie A campaign was a formality and Juve were going 10 points clear of a faltering Lazio.

Only, one man had other ideas. It was time for an audacious third-act twist almost too implausible for any composition.

The VAR playback of the 62nd-minute scene did no favours for Leonardo Bonucci. Handball. Penalty. Of course Ibrahimovic stepped up. Of course he scored.

There he was again four minutes later, that strapping back onto which you could probably project movies facing the Juventus goal. Ibrahimovic's penalty box presence was as booming as his lay-off was deft. Kessie was on hand for a redemptive finish, his earlier humiliation at the hands of Rabiot forgotten.

Ibrahimovic then left the chaos, his part played perfectly. But Milan were not done as Ronaldo's compatriot Rafael Leao ensured 0-2 had become 3-2 in the space of five berserk minutes.

If he'd been tasked with soundtracking this undulating drama, Morricone might have been tearing up his score at this point. At the very least, the keen Roma fan would have been disgruntled at the unlikely lifeline handed to Lazio's ailing Scudetto bid.

A roof-falling-in error from Alex Sandro allowed Ante Rebic to complete a 4-2 triumph. Six goals, the perfect number.

At full-time, Ibrahimovic strode around, a picture of satisfaction. Topless, of course. Just as Ronaldo, beaten and wounded, would have done had roles been reversed.

Perhaps the veteran Swede will survive the behind-the-scenes ructions at Milan to return next season. Is another sequel with the intoxicating sound and colour of the tifosi as opposed to the eerie emptiness of now too much to ask?

Juventus missed the chance to move 10 points clear at the top of Serie A as they incredibly let a two-goal lead slip to lose 4-2 at Milan after a remarkable second half on Tuesday. 

At the start of a crucial week in which Juve also face in-form Atalanta, the leaders had been boosted ahead of kick-off by news of another defeat for second-placed Lazio. 

However, the Bianconeri could not take full advantage despite a sensational opener from Adrien Rabiot and Cristiano Ronaldo's swift second. 

All six goals came after the interval as Milan staged a rapid recovery, scoring through Zlatan Ibrahimovic from the penalty spot, Franck Kessie, substitute Rafael Leao and Ante Rebic. 

Missing the suspended Paulo Dybala, Maurizio Sarri's side could not rally and so remain seven points ahead of Lazio, while rampant Milan climb to fifth. 

Few could have imagined such a chaotic second period when an offside flag against Ibrahimovic ensured the sides went into the break scoreless after a first half of precious little action. 

But Rabiot then required only 74 seconds from the kick-off to break the deadlock in magnificent fashion. 

The midfielder collected the ball just inside his own half and brushed off Kessie before advancing, nutmegging Theo Hernandez and then, 20 yards from goal, arrowing a left-footed shot into the top-right corner. 

There was little the Milan defence could do to deny Rabiot, but Alessio Romagnoli and Simon Kjaer would be well advised to avoid replays of Juve's second, the pair colliding to give Ronaldo time and space to beat Gianluigi Donnarumma. 

Just as Juve looked set to coast to victory, a VAR review spotted a handball from Leonardo Bonucci inside the area, allowing Ibrahimovic to convert from 12 yards. 

The momentum swung and suddenly Milan were in the ascendancy. A wonderful team move created space for Kessie to shoot inside the area, a deflection deceiving Wojciech Szczesny, while Leao drove a low strike through the goalkeeper for a third goal in six minutes to turn the match around. 

Juve threatened to battle back as Donnarumma saved superbly from Daniele Rugani, but Rebic - earlier denied by Szczesny - lashed in Milan's fourth to clinch the points. Ronaldo thought he had netted again in stoppage time, only to be ruled offside.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has insisted it is too early to compare Mason Greenwood to Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo following the teenage forward's brace in Manchester United's 5-2 win over Bournemouth.

Greenwood further enhanced his reputation with clinical finishes in either half in Saturday's clash at Old Trafford to take him to eight league goals for United this term and 15 in all competitions.

He is the youngest player to reach that tally for the club since Rooney but Solskjaer was unwilling to put the 18-year-old in the same category as United's all-time leading scorer and fellow star Ronaldo.

"I have seen Wayne Rooney at the same age and Mason is a specialist finisher and specialist goalscorer," Solskjaer said at his post-match news conference. "He knows exactly what to do with the ball when he's on the pitch.

"If he shoots, he will score. He is going to get better and his general play has improved. But I don't want to compare Mason to Rooney or Cristiano – I don't think that's fair.

"The boy will create his own career and he is doing it his own way and they've had fantastic careers, both of them, and I'm sure if Mason keeps on doing the right things, making good decisions, he will have a fantastic career as well."

Anthony Martial, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford were also on target against Bournemouth, with the latter scoring from the penalty spot.

United's front three of Greenwood, Martial and Rashford now have 55 goals in all competitions this term – four more than Liverpool's triumvirate of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.

But Solskjaer warned United's Premier League rivals that his side – fourth in the table ahead of Chelsea's game in hand against Watford later on Saturday – are only going to get better over time.

"Every day and every game and every session is a chance to improve," he said.

"We've seen improvement in Marcus, Mason and Anthony all season, so we will keep on improving the ones we've got but we will never stand still – we are always on the lookout for anything that is possible.

"You cannot think we've cracked it, as Gary [Neville] said, and the emphasis is just on improving the team all the time.

"They will improve, and we've seen that all season they have improved a lot this season, different parts of their game, maturity. We will work with these.

"Marcus is on course for his best season, Anthony the same but they can still improve and there are things they know I want them to keep improving on.

"Mason is in his first season, fantastic, but we've always known that there's a special kid there."

Solskjaer named the same starting line-up for the third league game running on Saturday, United winning each of those matches to make it their best-such run since January 2019.

But the Norwegian talked up the importance of his entire squad during their 15-game unbeaten streak in all competitions that stretches back to January.

"I wouldn't say that you could call it a first XI," he said. "We know we have to use the squad; we've had players who've played and really contributed.

"I can't say this is like the XI that's always going to play, no. Because Eric [Bailly] came on today, he's important for us; Scott [McTominay] and Fred have been exceptional all season. It's not easy leaving Dan James out either but we have started doing well."

Cristiano Ronaldo admitted to feeling a sense of relief after scoring from a free-kick in Juventus' 4-1 win over Torino on Saturday. 

Juve were comfortable winners in the derby and Ronaldo played a major role in their triumph, setting up Juan Cuadrado's goal before then making it 3-1, with Paulo Dybala having initially opened the scoring early on. 

Koffi Djidji's late own goal summed up the visitors' haplessness as he turned Douglas Costa's cross past Salvatore Sirigu, with Juve opening up a seven-point lead over Lazio at the summit. 

Ronaldo's stunning strike was his first direct free-kick goal in 43 attempts at Juve, and he acknowledged that his profligacy from such situations had been weighing on his mind. 

"I really needed that free-kick so I could get a bit of confidence [from free-kicks] back," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"[But] the important thing is to win regardless of who scores, be it Cristiano or Dybala. It is very important to win, but the truth is that we are doing well, Dybala and me, but the team is also doing very well, we are improving our confidence and against Milan we will try to win. "

It had not dawned on Maurizio Sarri how much such a goal mattered to Ronaldo either.

He added: "I didn't think he was suffering from the lack of a free-kick goal, but then he said 'finally' and then I understood he was."

Juve are next in action on Tuesday as they go to Milan in Serie A.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a stunning goal and provided an assist as Juventus eased to a 4-1 derby win over Torino to open up a seven-point lead at the top of Serie A.

Ronaldo was by no means a constant nuisance to the Torino defence, but the Portugal great turned it on when he needed to, setting up Juan Cuadrado before scoring a brilliant goal of his own on Saturday.

Juve made a lightning start and opened the scoring through a fine Paulo Dybala effort, before Ronaldo teed up Cuadrado – who set up the opener – for their second at the Allianz Stadium.

An Andrea Belotti penalty gave the visitors a lifeline just before half-time, Gianluigi Buffon beaten in his record 648th Serie A appearance.

But Ronaldo struck with a wonderful free-kick in the 61st minute and Koffi Djidji's own goal added to Torino's misery as Juve put further pressure on second-placed Lazio ahead of their clash with Milan.

It took Juve just three minutes to take charge of the encounter, as Cuadrado found Dybala in the box and the Argentinian's quick feet saw him weave past two defenders before slotting home.

Cuadrado was involved again just before the half-hour mark, this time jinking on to his right foot and finishing emphatically after Ronaldo led a counter and set the winger up.

But Torino pulled one back on the stroke of half-time – Belotti slotting a penalty past Buffon after Matthijs de Ligt blocked Simone Verdi's initial shot with his arm.

Torino briefly thought they had levelled early in the second half, but Belotti had strayed offside in the build-up.

Juve increased their advantage just past the hour-mark, as Ronaldo stepped up to a 30-yard free-kick and sent an unstoppable effort into the top-left corner.

The visitors' haplessness was summed up by Djidji's late own goal, the defender turning Douglas Costa's cross past Salvatore Sirigu.

What does it mean? Juve a step closer to the title

Although derby clashes generally produce plenty of unpredictability, contests between these two rarely lead to surprises. After all, before Saturday, Juve last lost at home to Torino in April 1995.

Nevertheless, it was still another hurdle to pass and Juve managed to deal with Torino with minimal fuss.

Ronaldo does what was required

As a player who has produced countless memorable performances across his career, no one will claim this was among the standouts – but you cannot argue he was effective, as he set up Cuadrado and netted his first free-kick for Juve.

A day to forget for Lyanco

Torino centre-back Lyanco will want to forget about this performance quickly. While not necessarily guilty of gifting any goals away, he will be disappointed he could not do more for Juve's first two.

What's next?

Juve go to Milan on Tuesday, while Torino host Brescia the following day.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala have been forming an effective partnership in training for Juventus, prompting their improvement on the pitch, Maurizio Sarri has revealed. 

Ronaldo and Dybala have both hit form at a key time in the season as Juventus look to hold off Lazio in pursuit of another Serie A title. 

With Ronaldo now stationed on the left and Dybala playing through the middle, the duo have each scored in all three league matches since the league campaign resumed last month. 

Sarri has been encouraged by the burgeoning collaboration which the Bianconeri have worked hard on in training. 

"Cristiano Ronaldo and Dybala often look for each other," Sarri told a news conference ahead of the derby against Torino. 

"They play at speed and have moved closer together. It's a job they also do in training." 

Juve's front three has been completed by Federico Bernardeschi, though Douglas Costa arrived from the bench at Genoa in midweek to add a third goal.

"Bernardeschi is doing well, mentally and physically," Sarri said. "Douglas Costa deserves to play from the start and he could do it.

"But for us, right now, he is a vital weapon coming on when the game is in progress."

Sarri is happy to rely on the quality within the squad to pick up points, albeit he recognises the unique nature of a derby could make life tough against Torino.

"We have a team capable of playing good football and also individuals who can decide the game at any time," the coach said. "It is right to rely on both characteristics.

"However, the derby is a very particular game which escapes logic. They [Torino] will be highly motivated."

Maurizio Sarri lauded the "phenomenal skills" of Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala and Douglas Costa after Serie A leaders Juventus defeated Genoa.

Stunning goals from Ronaldo, Dybala and Costa ensured titleholders Juve stayed four points clear of scudetto challengers Lazio thanks to Tuesday's 3-1 victory at struggling Genoa.

Dybala broke the deadlock with a fine individual effort in the 50th minute before Ronaldo made it 2-0 six minutes later via a thunderous long-range strike.

Juve substitute Costa then put the visitors out of sight with an equally impressive effort, while Andrea Pinamonti drilled in a 76th-minute consolation for Genoa.

"In the second half we lead thanks to our single players because we scored on three excellent plays by three single men," Juve head coach Sarri said.

"Paulo's [Dybala] great slalom, the outstanding Ronaldo's shoot, incredible for its precision and strength and the sensible touch from [Douglas Costa].

"This is how we solved the match, thanks to our individualities and phenomenal skills. We created the team's assumptions." 

Sarri and Juve were heavily criticised following the coronavirus break, which saw the Italian champions go back-to-back games without scoring, including in their Coppa Italia final defeat to Napoli.

Ronaldo was also scrutinised but Juve have now won three consecutive matches to be top of the table with nine fixtures remaining.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner equalled his tally from last season across all competitions with his 28th goal in 2019-20, while he has scored 14 goals in 2020 – more than any other Serie A player this year.

Sarri added: "After the lockdown I made an assessment: I said that something changed. Then everybody almost made fun of me because we lost the Coppa Italia on penalties.

"The truth is that once we improved our condition we started paying better this kind of football. This due to our condition that's getting better after the lockdown."

Juve are back in action against city rivals Torino on Saturday.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala have learned to work together following their goalscoring displays, according to Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri.

Ronaldo and Dybala both scored stunning individual goals as defending champions Juve stayed four points clear atop the Serie A table with a 3-1 win at Genoa.

There have been doubts over whether Ronaldo and Dybala are compatible in Juve's starting XI, but the star duo starred on Tuesday.

Sarri hailed the pair post-match, telling Sky Sport Italia: "Something has changed in terms of movements, but they have learned to look for each other more often.

"They have realised that by benefitting from each other, both reap the rewards. It's something I have noticed in training too."

After a dominant first-half display failed to produce the goods, Dybala broke the deadlock in the 50th minute before Ronaldo made it 2-0 six minutes later with a thunderous long-range effort.

Juve substitute Douglas Costa then put the visitors out of sight with an equally impressive strike, while Andrea Pinamonti drilled in a 76th-minute consolation for Genoa.

Ronaldo equalled his tally from last season across all competitions with his 28th goal in 2019-20.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has scored 14 goals in 2020, more than any other Serie A player this year.

"In the first half he went for the shot five times, so it means he was doing more than he should," Sarri said. "Cristiano often plays to free himself to finish, but when he decides to move the ball quickly, he is the best of them all.

"Honestly, I was going to replace Dybala, then I chose Ronaldo, who has played many minutes. We discussed it over the last days, he knew that he would go off at 3-0 and he did it with serenity."

"I think the team did well, even in the first half. We had clear chances, without conceding any," Sarri said. "It was a good team effort and we scored three beautiful goals.

"The team have recovered well after the disappointment from the Coppa Italia, but it was only a matter of time before we were physically well."

Miralem Pjanic was in Juve's line-up after confirmation of his transfer to Barcelona at the end of the season, with Arthur moving in the opposite direction.

Pjanic played 74 minutes and Sarri added: "I haven't even talked to Miralem these days. I often did it after the suspension, after the lockdown, because he had these 20 to 25 days in poor shape.

"We asked ourselves the reason and we tried to find the solution. It was a drop in the mental condition more than anything else. I'm sure he will do well in this period. I find him happy and calm. I have no worries."

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a stunning goal as Juventus restored their four-point lead at the top of Serie A with a 3-1 victory over struggling Genoa.

Lazio's win over Torino had seen the gap at the top of Serie A closed to one point prior to kick-off at Stade Luigi Ferraris, but Maurizio Sarri's side ultimately made light work of their hosts.

After a dominant first-half display failed to produce the goods, Juve made the pressure count early in the second period – Paulo Dybala opening the scoring before Ronaldo picked out the top right-hand corner of the net in sensational fashion.

Substitute Douglas Costa then put the visitors out of sight with an equally impressive strike before Andrea Pinamonti drilled in a 76th-minute consolation for Genoa.

Juve wasted little time in getting on the front foot, with Mattia Perin, on loan from the Bianconeri, pulling off two smart stops in quick succession to deny Ronaldo.

Perin's strong display against his parent club continued before the break, Adrien Rabiot heading straight at him from close range before the goalkeeper made an outstanding stop from a Ronaldo strike.

Juve's breakthrough finally came five minutes after the break, though, Dybala twisting his way clear of several defenders before lashing in a shot which Perin could only help into the net.

With Genoa's resolve broken, Juve had their second six minutes later, Ronaldo hammering home his 24th Serie A goal of the season from 25 yards out.

Costa curled in an exquisite third shortly after coming on as a substitute to wrap up Juve's third successive league win since the restart, though Genoa had the final say when Pinamonti finished from a tight angle.

 

What does it mean? No slip-ups in the Scudetto race

The pressure is on Juve, with Lazio bouncing back from their 3-2 defeat to Atalanta by beating Torino. The Bianconeri seem to be going from strength to strength, however, with Ronaldo and Dybala in scintillating form.

Ronaldo and Dybala do the damage

Sarri has not always been able to accommodate his star strikers to get the best out of both of them, yet that certainly was not the case on Tuesday – Ronaldo looked sharp from the off, while Dybala displayed exceptional individual skill to craft the space for his opener.

Perin gives his parent club a helping hand

Having made nine league appearances for Juve last term, Perin was superb in the first half. Yet the 27-year-old will have been disappointed by his efforts for Dybala's opener as he got down to the strike only to fail to parry it wide.

Key Opta Facts

- Juventus have scored at least two goals in all their last six league games, their best run since February 2019.
- In 2020, Ronaldo has scored 14 goals, more than any other Serie A player.
- Dybala has scored in his last four Serie A games, his longest streak since September 2017.
- Ronaldo has equalled his number of goals of last season - 28 in all competitions.
- Pinamonti has scored in two games in a row for Genoa for the first time in Serie A.

What's next?

It is the Turin derby up next for Juve, who host Torino on Saturday, while 17th-place Genoa face Udinese a day later.

Bruno Fernandes will establish himself as a Manchester United great, according to former Portugal defender Abel Xavier.

Fernandes joined United from Sporting CP in January and had an immediate galvanising impact on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side

The 25-year-old has three goals and as many assists in seven Premier League appearances, with United unbeaten in 14 matches across all competitions and yet to taste defeat with Fernandes in their ranks.

Xavier told Stats Perform News his countryman can go on to be remembered alongside the likes of David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo by the Old Trafford faithful.

"My view of Bruno is that he is going to be one of the major players for Manchester United over the next years," he said.

"The way he plays, the way he controls the moments of the game... I think from what I know about the about the fans, they will love him for many years like they loved many legends from the past like Cristiano, David Beckham, Rio Ferdinand, Eric Cantona, Paul Scholes – all these legendary players.

"Bruno I think will end up in this gallery of players."

One man whose standing has not been quite so lofty since returning to Old Trafford from Juventus in 2017 is Paul Pogba.

The France star's performances have been a frequent matter of debate, while injuries have decimated his 2019-20 campaign.

Pogba is back to full fitness now, however, and Xavier believes he and Fernandes can enjoy a fruitful midfield alliance.

"Pogba is compatible with him because Bruno Fernandes is a clever player," he said.

"He can adapt, he is flexible. I think he is a player who is very easy to manage for the coaches. Man United will be strong.

"We are not just talking about a great player but a player with a lot of personality.

"It is not easy to arrive to a different place like England, with a lot of history and a lot of comparisons in his position, and make a complete impact.

"He had a little profile. He was accepted, he made the difference. I think that Man United are building the team around him."

United face Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday in the Premier League, where they will aim for a victory to go level on point with Wolves and close to within two points of fourth-placed Chelsea.

Cristiano Ronaldo is a natural-born winner who has proven he does not like to be in the comfort zone throughout his glittering career, says former Portugal international Abel Xavier.

Since joining Manchester United as a prodigious teenager, Ronaldo has racked up the biggest collective and individual prizes in world football.

In six years with the Red Devils, Ronaldo won three Premier League trophies, two EFL Cups, an FA Cup and the Champions League in 2008.

That tradition of winning continued during nine prolific seasons with Real Madrid, during which time he became Los Blancos' all-time record goalscorer, won two LaLiga titles, two Copas del Rey and the Champions League on four occasions.

Ronaldo opted to depart Madrid for Juventus ahead of the 2018-19 campaign and lifted the Serie A trophy and Supercoppa Italiana during that debut term.

Another league title with Juve appears on the horizon, with the Bianconeri four points clear of Lazio with 10 games remaining.

Former Liverpool and Roma full-back Xavier says Ronaldo is fuelled by undertaking different challenges and would be successful wherever he plays.

"He's a winner and his mental focus is great," Xavier told Stats Perform News of the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.

"You realise he does not like the comfort zone. He was in Madrid, he won; he was at Man United, he won; he's at Juventus and has also won things.

"Wherever he goes, he is going to win – individually and collectively.

"Of course, there is going to arrive a moment when he is not going to be able to produce the same style of football, but when you're looking to win – concerning the goalscoring positions – he is one of the best.

"Nowadays, the effort [for the team] is to try and put him in the right place to score. His qualities now are more a finisher, being in the right place to finish.

"For me, as a Portuguese, and for all people who love football, we admire him. He's a great player, a great athlete and a great team-mate in football."

Ronaldo is now 35 but Xavier sees no let-up in the hunger for glory and says helping Juve defend their title will be at the forefront of his season aims.

"I think that is his main goal. That is his main objective because he's a winner," Xavier added.

"I know him from my time as a player when he was a young player who started to be integrated into the national team environment.

"I believe he is still intact, he is still a very strong-minded, focused person. And he wants to win titles. He wants to win titles individually, he wants to win them collectively."

Earlier this season, which was disrupted for three months due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ronaldo was reported to have fallen out with Juve boss Maurizio Sarri, rumours exacerbated by the head coach substituting his superstar in two straight games when Juve were not in front.

Xavier believes regardless of the personal relationship between the two they will always be brought together by the desire for success.

"They've been having a few problems recently. A moment arrives for a coach when it becomes hard because you need to manage egos, you need to be able to keep forming the players and putting in the correct identity for your style of play," Xavier said.

"The players need to accept that to be together.

"But, I don't know if the administration will make a decision on that, concerning the coach. But the leadership of the players is very important and they still have the chances and opportunities to win two important titles – Serie A and the Champions League.

"Whatever is happening with the coaching position, they have these two main objectives to be focused on."

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