Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick in the first half helped Juventus defeat Cagliari, who was on the verge of being demoted, 3-1 but helped the champion close the gap with Serie A leader Inter Milan.
Nine-time defending champion Juventus are 10 points behind Inter after Nerazzurri won 2-1 in Turin, which is on the verge of being demoted.
Juventus faced teams fighting for survival, and Ronaldo’s goal set them on their way to Cagliari.
It was a perfect reaction to Ronaldo’s criticism after Juventus was knocked out of the Champions League by Porto in the 16th round.
However, Ronaldo was somewhat fortunate not to be sent off within minutes after heading to the corner for his first goal in the 9th minute.
He climbed high to meet Federico Chiesa’s cross, caught Alessio Cragno with his face and left Cagliari’s goalkeeper in the chin.
However, Ronaldo was only shown a yellow card.
In the 25th minute, when Cragno tripped Ronaldo, the two clashed again. Ronaldo doubled his tally with a powerful penalty.
Ronaldo then completed the hat-trick seven minutes later, controlling Chiesa’s cross and doing a little shimmy before curling across the net.
It was a so-called perfect hat-trick, as Portugal came forward with its head, right foot and left.
This was Ronaldo’s 57th hat-trick for clubs and country, but Juventus’ second. His other players also played against Cagliari in January 2020.
Giovanni Simeone comforted Cagliari in the second half.
Lautaro Martinez, meanwhile, scored the winner in the second half, with Intel losing 9 points to second-placed AC Milan 1-0 to fifth-placed Naples.
Martinez stole the net in the 5th minute after Antonio Sanabria canceled Romelu Lukaku’s 62-minute opener from the penalty spot.
Former Inter Winger Matteo Politano favored Nerazzurri when he clinically won the 49-minute winner in Naples and finished his counterattack at San Siro.
Missing veteran star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Milan was of no use and issued a red card in place of Ante Rebic during a downtime that was believed to have insulted the referee.
Parma, on the verge of being demoted, defeated the high-flying Rome 2-0, finishing 17 unwinning streak.
Valentin Mihęra scored in the 9th minute and Hernani converted the penalty in the second half to secure Parma’s first victory since November.
In the Champions League qualifying race, Rome remained two points below fourth-placed Atalanta, but Parma moved safely within three points.
Bologna defeated Sampdoria 3-1 to move into the points of the 11th place Genoa Club.
Ronaldo’s Juventus hat-trick, Intel kick clear
Source link Ronaldo’s Juventus hat-trick, Intel kick clear