Sassuolo 0 Juventus 3: Ronaldo on target as champions go 11 points clear

By Sports Desk February 10, 2019

Juventus extended their lead at the top of Serie A to 11 points after beating Sassuolo 3-0 courtesy of goals from Sami Khedira, Cristiano Ronaldo and Emre Can.

The champions recovered from a chaotic 3-3 draw at home against Parma with a straightforward victory and a more composed performance at MAPEI Stadium on Sunday.

Khedira scored his second goal of the season in the 23rd minute to put Juve in front and committed displays from Blaise Matuidi and Federico Bernardeschi ensured Massimiliano Allegri's men did not miss Paulo Dybala, who was named on the bench after he stormed off the touchline against Parma.

Ronaldo's 18th league goal of the season and a late strike from Can made sure of the Bianconeri's first victory in three matches across all competitions, coming a day after second-placed Napoli were held to a draw by Fiorentina to make a successful title defence look all the more likely.

Juve were given an early scare when Filip Djuricic was allowed a clear run into the box where Wojciech Szczesny brought him down, but the referee judged that the goalkeeper's challenge was legal after consulting VAR.

Szczesny made a good save to deny Manuel Locatelli's rising drive from 20 yards before the visitors took the lead with their first clear chance of the game.

Ronaldo pounced on a poor clearance by Sassuolo keeper Andrea Consigli and started a move that saw his shot from the edge of the box saved before Khedira slotted home the rebound.

Khedira headed narrowly wide on the cusp of half-time and Ronaldo had the ball in the net six minutes into the second half but an offside flag was correctly raised against him.

Sassuolo captain Domenico Berardi missed an open goal from 35 yards when Szczesny fluffed his lines at a clearance, shortly before Khedira failed to turn the ball over the line when Mario Mandzukic presented him with a golden chance just after the hour mark.

Ronaldo rose to meet Miralem Pjanic's corner in the 70th minute, beating Consigli to the ball and sending a glancing header into the far corner.

Can came on for Matuidi and within a minute he made it 3-0, latching onto Ronaldo's unselfish ball across the edge of the Sassuolo box and sliding home a low, angled shot to wrap up a comfortable win.

 

What does it mean? The Old Lady has one hand on the title

An 11-point lead may well be unassailable for Napoli and Juve successfully eradicated the errors that led them to disappointing results in their previous two games.

Khedira covers for dropped Dybala

Juve might have lacked a creative presence in and around the penalty area with Dybala being dropped but Khedira's all-action display ensured the Argentine playmaker was not missed.

Consigli causes problems

Sassuolo goalkeeper Consigli opted for the spectacular over the sensible with a number of parried saves, and one of them presented Khedira with the chance from which he scored.

What's next?

Juve will hope to maintain the winning habit back on home turf when they face Frosinone in Turin on Friday, while Sassuolo will be hopeful of claiming a result against struggling Empoli.

Related items

  • Koulibaly not drawn on future after Napoli loss Koulibaly not drawn on future after Napoli loss

    Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly refused to be drawn on his future, but played down suggestions he was too good to be in the Serie A.

    Koulibaly, 27, has been linked with a move to Manchester United and coach Carlo Ancelotti said the centre-back was worth €150million, but not for sale.

    After Napoli lost to Arsenal in the Europa League quarter-finals, the Senegal international was asked if the Serie A was enough for him.

    "Why? I grew up in this league. It's the league that made me the player I am today," Koulibaly said.

    "To me what matters most is to finish the season well, then we'll see.

    "I am sorry because we wanted to go through."

    Alexandre Lacazette's first-half goal saw Arsenal beat Napoli 1-0 in the second leg, wrapping up a 3-0 aggregate success.

    Koulibaly was saddened by his side's defeat and lamented their first-leg performance in London.

    "It's our fault, we should have been a bit tougher, have more anger to score goals, and we didn't have it," he said.

    "But at this level, when you do a wrong first half as we did the first leg, it's hard to come back. We saw it tonight and we are very sorry."

  • Manchester City lay on Wembley coaches for fans Manchester City lay on Wembley coaches for fans

    Manchester City's players will fund coach travel for supporters attending next month's FA Cup final against Watford. 

    Each member of the City first-team squad will fund a bus, making 26 in total, subject to demand. 

    "The support from our fans throughout the season has been nothing short of incredible," City captain Vincent Kompany told his club's official website. 

    "Travelling to so many games in league and cup competitions, both home and away, is not easy to do and is something that every player in our squad values and appreciates." 

    City were knocked out of the Champions League on away goals by Tottenham on Wednesday when a dramatic tie ended 4-4 on aggregate at the Etihad Stadium. 

    Pep Guardiola's team remain in contention for an unprecedented domestic treble, as they continue to march on blow-for-blow with Liverpool at the top of the Premier League after lifting the EFL Cup thanks to a penalty shoot-out triumph over Chelsea February. 

    Those exertions mean the Watford game will be City's fifth trip to Wembley this season, with supporters having criticised both high ticket prices and limited public transport provision back to Manchester from London following kick-offs in the late afternoon.

    "Although last night’s result [against Tottenham] was not the one that we had hoped for, it was very special to hear our fans in full voice for 90 minutes backing the team," Kompany added. 

    "We still have so much to fight for this season and this is our way of saying thank you to them for being with us every step of the way." 

  • Real Madrid have €500m to spend, says Capello Real Madrid have €500m to spend, says Capello

    Former Real Madrid boss Fabio Capello has claimed that his old club have €500million to spend in the transfer market.

    Los Blancos have endured a poor season, sitting 13 points off the pace in LaLiga having been humiliated by Ajax in the Champions League round of 16 and outclassed by Barcelona in the Copa del Rey semi-finals.

    Madrid have been linked with high-profile moves for Manchester United's Paul Pogba and Chelsea's Eden Hazard and Capello expects them to spend big.

    "They told me Real Madrid have €500million to spend on signings," he told Sky Sport Italia.

    "I was in Barcelona this week and someone who knows Real Madrid really well told me that."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.