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Ronaldo keeps Juve on a roll

China Daily | Updated: 2018-09-25 09:05
Federico Bernardeschi (L) celebrates scoring Juventus' second goal with Cristiano Ronaldo on Sunday. [Photo/VCG]

Late goal preserves perfect start for defending Serie A champion

MILAN - Cristiano Ronaldo shrugged off the disappointment of his midweek sending-off to score a late goal as Juventus preserved its perfect Serie A start on Sunday.

Ronaldo pounced nine minutes from time to set Juve on its way to a 2-0 win at newly promoted Frosinone, which has yet to score a goal this season.

It was Ronaldo's third tally in two Italian league games after the Portugal star took a while to get off the mark for his new club following his move from Real Madrid.

Ronaldo had been sent off in Juve's 2-0 Champions League win at Valencia last Wednesday after appearing to pull an opponent's hair.

"No one expected anything different from Cristiano, he will score so many goals and he is the least of our problems," Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini said.

"He was unlucky Wednesday but he will always be decisive in our matches."

Ronaldo came close to scoring early at Frosinone but was denied by a goal-line clearance by Marco Capuano.

Juventus struggled to break down Frosinone's defense, but just when it looked like its perfect record this season was set to end, Miralem Pjanic's scuffed shot ricocheted into Ronaldo's path and he swept it home.

Ronaldo also sparked the counter attack that led to Juventus' second goal, which was finished off by Federico Bernardeschi.

"We expected this type of match. Frosinone had conceded five (goals) to Sampdoria and we played with 10 men for 70 minutes against Valencia on Wednesday," coach Massimiliano Allegri told Sky Sport Italia.

"We just needed to have patience and after many shots, crosses and passes, we found the breakthrough."

Gifts for Napoli

Meanwhile, Napoli seems to be finding its feet under new coach Carlo Ancelotti and Lorenzo Insigne is reveling in his more central role.

Insigne scored twice to help Napoli win 3-1 at Torino in a dominant performance from last season's runner-up.

Torino gifted Insigne the first goal with less than four minutes on the clock. Emiliano Moretti attempted to clear Sebastiano Luperto's cross but it came off Torino teammate Nicolas N'Koulou and straight into the path of Insigne, who drove the ball in under the crossbar.

Simone Verdi doubled Napoli's lead in the 20th minute with his first goal since joining from Bologna.

The Italy forward started the move in midfield before passing to Dries Mertens on the left and racing into the area to fire in the return pass.

Torino got back into the game when Andrea Belotti converted a penalty early in the second half.

However, the host gifted Napoli another easy goal shortly afterward. Armando Izzo lost possession in midfield to Marek Hamsik, who picked out Jose Callejon. The Spaniard's shot came off the post but Inisgne was on hand to tap in the rebound.

It was Insigne's third goal in two league matches, following a slow start to the season.

Worth the wait

Bologna's first goal of the season was worth the wait.

It also led to a surprise victory as Filippo Inzaghi's team upset Roma 2-0.

Bologna hadn't scored in its previous four matches but the host got off the mark in stunning fashion 10 minutes before halftime.

Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco is under increasing pressure after a fourth league game without a win sees last year's third-place team slump to 14th with five points.

"The facts condemn us, they condemn me. Clearly something has to change. I feel I'm one of those to blame," said Di Francesco, who lamented his side's lack of "inner fire".

Robin Olsen only flapped at Sebastien De Maio's cross and the ball came through to Federico Mattiello near the byline and he cut back before curling a finish into the far side of the net.

Lorenzo Pellegrini should have equalized on the stroke of halftime but blasted over with an open goal at his mercy and Bologna doubled its tally just before the hour mark.

Federico Santander raced from his own half to collect Diego Falcinelli's pass and finish a swift counter attack.

Roma hasn't won since the opening day of the season and lost 3-0 at Real Madrid last Wednesday.

Associated Press

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