The Portuguese scored a stunning brace in the turnaround against Udinese.
On the same day where Inter were declared the winners of the Serie A this season – benefitting from Atalanta’s draw against Sassuolo, Juventus nearly fell behind the top-four race in the game against Udinese, but Cristiano Ronaldo rose to the occasion to keep their Champions League qualification hopes alive.
The Bianconeri scrapped a 2-1 win against Udinese, with Ronaldo scoring a match-winning brace.
Juve’s worrying form reflected in their performance from the very beginning and Udinese took a quick advantage by scoring the opener within 10 minutes; Nahuel Molina was the scorer.
Udinese managed to weather every bit of storm from the visitors after conceding a lot of possession.
Juve, perhaps, found it difficult to break down the sturdy defence of Udinese and the pressure started to grow as the game reached the final quarter.
The Old Lady were awarded a penalty after Rodrigo De Paul, Udinese’s star midfielder, made a terrible mistake by throwing his hand at the ball while defending a free-kick.
Ronaldo, who was helpless until that point, converted the penalty successfully to equalise the scorer.
Not long after, the Portuguese forward scored a header from Adrien Rabiot’s cross to complete a dramatic comeback win for the Old Lady.
The win has taken Juve past AC Milan to third place but nothing can be written now as Pirlo’s men still await both Milan clubs and Sassuolo in the coming weeks.
Pirlo’s substitution of Rabiot made the difference as the French midfielder provided a long and accurate cross to set up Ronaldo’s winning strike.
Furthermore, Ronaldo proved his doubters wrong by producing a match-winning performance in clutch games like these.
The ex-Real Madrid star was subject to more criticism prior to this game but he eventually ended up proving he is still the best player of such a debilitated Juventus side.
This victory came with difficulty, it was also important in view of the results of the afternoon to win. We had complicated our lives for the umpteenth time by giving away a goal for being careless, but there was a desire to bring home the result.
There is group in there, it is strong, it wants to fight, to reach goals, this has never been lacking. The team knows what it wants, it is united to reach the #UCL That’s the most important thing, we all wanted to win this match.Andrea Pirlo, Juventus Manager