Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus haven’t had much to cheer about in recent months.
After crashing out of the Champions League in the round of 16 and losing their stranglehold on Serie A, there was good reason to think that the Old Lady’s steady decline had reached a new low.
And with rumours aplenty that Ronaldo could be kissing goodbye to the Allianz Stadium after three seasons, you’d forgive the Turin chiefs for feeling a little bit shaky about where they go from here.
Sassuolo vs Juventus
However, regardless of whether Andrea Pirlo’s head will roll or Ronaldo seeks pastures new, the 2020/21 campaign is by no means over and Juventus still have Serie A places to fight for.
And upon the trip to Sassuolo on Wednesday night, the former champions kept their composure and secured a 3-1 win that keeps them in the hunt for Champions League qualification.
Adrien Rabiot and Ronaldo both found the net in the opening 45 minutes at the Mapei Stadium, before Paulo Dybala cancelled out Giacomo Raspadori’s retaliatory strike after the break.
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Ronaldo impresses vs Sassuolo
All in all, it was a solid performance from Juventus and one that keeps them breathing down the necks of Napoli and AC Milan, though we dare say the victory could have been even better.
Because although Ronaldo already made history with the 100th goal of his Juventus career, he could have bagged a second on the night that would have gone down as one of his finest in Italy.
In the end, Ronaldo’s fizzing strike could only leave an impact on the post as opposed to the net, but the Portuguese’s fantastic piece of skill in the build up still makes the chance a joyful watch.
Ronaldo flattens Sassuolo defender
And we say that because Ronaldo gave us a throwback to his Manchester United days with a series of stepovers on the edge of the penalty area, suitably baffling Vlad Chiricheș in the process.
In fact, by the time Ronaldo had finished his fleeting footwork and wound up for a simmering right-footed strike, the former Tottenham defender had been folded like a deck chair in a bundle of limbs.
It really was a moment straight out of 2005 Ronaldo’s playbook, so be sure to enjoy it down below:
It’s almost as though Ronaldo is one of the greatest footballers in history, isn’t it?
Throwback to the old Ronaldo
The Real Madrid legend has given us countless iconic moments across his decorated career and its some of those skill-ladened goals from his early days that make for the most compelling viewing.
And although Ronaldo deserves unbounded praise for evolving his playing style with age, we’d be lying if we said we didn’t love when he turns back the clock and decides to turn on the skills.
On this particular occasion, it didn’t result in the fantastic goal that it deserved but on a successful evening for Juventus, I think Chiricheș laying flat on his face is a pretty good consolation prize.