Juventus trounce Lecce 4-0 as Ronaldo scores penalty

Ronaldo in action for Juventus
Ronaldo in action for Juventus

CRISTIANO RONALDO scored his second penalty in two games to ease the pressure on Maurizio Sarri.

And the Portuguese superstar also laid on assists for Argentine duo Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain in what turned out to be a 4-0 cruise over ten-man Lecce.

Sarri’s side were slow out of the blocks, struggling to create chances while looking susceptible to counter-attacks by the visitors early on.

The game was to turn on one 31st minute moment, however, and one which Fabio Lucioni will be hoping to forget.

Experienced Greek midfielder Panagiotis Tachtsidis passed the ball to the centre-back, with not much danger around.

But Lucioni got his feet into a horrible muddle, losing the ball to the onrushing Rodrigo Bentancur and receiving his marching orders after halting the Uruguayan’s subsequent run towards goal.

Lecce managed to last until half-time, but were unable to prevent Juventus opening the scoring through Dybala, when the Argentine curled past impressive goalkeeper Gabriel after being teed up by Ronaldo on 53 minutes.

It was 2-0 just nine minutes later, when the 35-year-old dusted himself down after being brought down by substitute Luca Rossettini to blast the resulting spot-kick down the middle.

It was attack vs defence by this point, and Sarri’s men were able to add some gloss to the scoreline late on.

Ronaldo weaved across the Lecce penalty area from the left, before picking out Higuain with a deflected backheel – his ex-Real Madrid team-mate subsequently making no mistake with his left-footed finish.

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And with the floodgates now well and truly open, Juve greedily poured forwards, with centre-back Matthijs de Ligt able to bundle home Douglas Costa’s devilishly whipped cross for a fourth.

The win takes Juventus seven points clear of Lazio at the summit of Serie A, with Simone Inzaghi’s side not in action until tomorrow night when they take on Fiorentina.

As for Lecce, the result keeps Fabio Liverani’s side in the relegation zone on goal difference, with 17th-placed Genoa above them set to take on bottom-of-the-pile Brescia tomorrow afternoon.

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