Chievo 2-3 Juventus: Ronaldo's Serie A debut match report

A late comeback win for Juventus in Serie A against Chievo was an eventuful way for Cristiano Ronaldo to ring in his new adventure in Italy.

Chievo 2-3 Juventus: Ronaldo's Serie A debut match report
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Chievo 2-3 Juventus: match report

It looked like Cristiano Ronaldo's debut with Juventus might be ruined by a determined and clinical display from the home side, Hellas Chievo, but goals from Leonardo Bonucci and Federico Bernardeschi saved Massimiliano Allegri's blushes with the world tuning in. 

Juventus were far superior in every department to start the game and it looked like it might be a matter of how many they could notch up on a defensive Chievo side. Sami Khedira scored first after three minutes when he slotted home from a free-kick that was headed into his path by giorgio Chiellini.

Douglas Costa, Paulo Dybala and Ronaldo all had chances after that but they failed to capitalise as Chievo slowly chipped away at Juventus' dominance. They had an equaliser on 38 minutes when the previously invisible Mariusz Stepinski headed home a lovely Emanuele Giaccherini cross.

The creator turned scorer after the break when Giaccherini was hauled down by Joao Cancelo, another Portuguese making his debut in Serie A. The former Sunderland and Juventus man dusted himself off to slot home the penalty, sending Wojciech Szczesny the wrong way.

Mattia Bani headed into his own net from a cross as Leonardo Bonucci put him under pressure to draw the sides level. And that's when the drama really started.

Mario Mandzukic headed Juventus in front but there was uncertainty after the refere didn't give the goal initially. It was decided by goalline technology that it did go over the line but Stefano Sorrentino, who was spectacular throughout in goals for the home side, lay motionless on the ground.

The referee went to VAR and decided the goal would not stand after the collision with Ronaldo. As it turned out, however, it wasn't the collision that Ronaldo was whistled for but handling the ball as it was whipped in. It was all square again deep into extra-time.

After all the commotion and with Chievo thinking they had dodged a bullet, Juventus reloaded and Federico Bernardeschi poked home in the third minute of added time to give Juve a late lead. 

He didn't score but if the rest of Ronaldo's game are even half as exciting as his debut then Serie A and Juventus fans will be the better for it. They might not want them to leave it as late next time though.

Chievo vs Juventus live online: latest updates

90'+6' GAME OVER! Juventus come back from 2-1 down to win 3-2 in Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus debut.

90'+6'   Ball forward from Chievo and that's surely it.

90'+4'   Mandzukic caught on the side of the head now as Juventus win the free. 

90'+3'   Plenty of drama on Ronaldo's debut.

90'+3' Oh my! After all that and Chievo delighted to have the goal ruled out, Bernardeschi slots one home. 

90' Sorrentino, Chievo's hero today, is taken off and on comes Seculin.

90'   Another replay and it looks like it was handled by Ronaldo, which is what the free was for,

90'   Five minutes of added time and Chievo need a sub keeper, who is ready to come on.

90'   We have had about five minutes of added time now. 

87'   2-2! The referee looks at VAR and gives a free to Chievo for the Ronaldo foul on the keeper. He surely can't continue though.

87'   The referee is looking at VAR but not entirely sure it needs it? Only problem is if the keeper was impeded. 

87'   The ball was crossed in and Ronaldo and Sorrentino collided at the front post and as the keeper lay on the ground, Mandzukic headed home. 

86' GOAL! Mandzukic gives them the lead! 3-2. 

86'   Sorrentino is knocked out. and it does look like a goal. Sorrentino was out cold and it didn't look great but we need to see what the ref does. The Chievo players not happy. 

86'   Mandzukic with the shot and it looks like a goal. 

85'   Another chances. Emre Can and Sorrentino putting on an exhibition in goals.

84' Emre Can comes on for Khedira.

84'   Chievo doing a good job of holding onto the ball. Shot comes in and that's a pure waste though. Miles over.

83'   Ball into the box and there's an offside for Djordjevic as Juventus have a chance to bring it back up the field.

83'   Chievo break again and have the ball with a throw. Last few minutes for them to hang on.

81'   Yet another ball in from Pjanic and it's headed out for a corner but it's given as a goalkick for some reason.

80'   Ronaldo in off the left hand side. He does a step over and then cuts it back inside instead of shooting. Cut out by Chievo and cleared.

79'   Deep cross from Alex Sandro. Bernardeschi picks it up and he absolutely wallops it high and wide. Terrible effort really.

77' Obi coming on for Chievo. He will replace Hetemaj.

77'   Ronaldo with a free and he slams it towards goal. Sorrentino saves but only as far as Bonuccis, who doesn't know enough about it, and can't get a touch to it! 

75'   Looked like a Bani own goal in fact! 

75' 15 minutes left and Bonucci heads it in! 2-2 now and Juventus will be looking for a winner. 

73'   Another chance. Dybala this time as he junks inside and shoots on his left. Sorrentino gets down to save it. Tame effort in the end.

71'   Header from Mandzukic. Ball looked to have slowed down as Sorrentino decided whether to dive or not. He did dive in the end but it's just inches wide.

70'   Headed away. Ball lands to Cancelo and he strikes but it's blocked.

69'   So close. Ball into Ronaldo after Dybala pokes it to him. He pokes a shot towards goal and it takes a deflection out for a corner.

68'   He tripped over the Juve attacker.

68'   Dybala fouls Bani but that was just really unlucky in the end.

67'   Ronaldo calling for everything now. He is very keen to get on the scoresheet here! 

66' Stepinski coming off for Chievo and on comes Djordjevic. 

66'   Ronaldo into the box and forces a Sorrentino save. Lovely effort.

65' Mandzukic on for Douglas Costa.

64'   Bernardeschi almost has a chance at the back post. Cleared by Chievo for a corner.

64'   Mario Mandzukic is coming on now.

63'   Bernardeschiis lucky not to be sent off. Hetemaj fouls him and then stands over him. The Juve sub puts a hand into his face and sends him to the ground. He's very, very lucky.

61'   Ronaldo with another effort. Crossed in and Ronaldo heads down into the waiting Sorrentino's arms.

59' Radovanovic booked now for a foul on Ronaldo. 

59'   And Bernardeschi has a strike that Sorrentino saved.

57' Cuadrado makes way for Bernardeschi.

55' Szczesny goes the wrong way. Giaccherini slots it home. 2-1 to Chievo. They are absolutely not backing down here.

55'   PENALTY! Chievo. Cancelo jumps in on Giaccherini and takes him down.

54'   Still no changes for Allegri but he does have some of his subs warming up.

53'   Ball in behind for chievo but Bonucci steps in and clears.

50'   Ball across the field but Costa can't control it. Throw for Chievo and they take their time over this one.

50'   Ronaldo, who is playing as a striker, finds himself in familiar territory out on the left. He wins a throw. Not gone his way so far.

49'   Chievo counter now. No way forward but they keep possession. 

48'   Ronaldo with another effort. Saved by Sorrentino. 

47'   Juventus with all of the ball but they do look a little shakier than they did before. Not entirely convinced of themselves, it seems. And it's the opposite for Chievo. They're growing in confidence.

46'   We are back underway for the second half. No changed for either side. 

45'   HALF-TIME!

45'   Juventus break. Chievo can get bodies back though. Douglas Costa whips one in and Ronaldo can't get anything on the header as Khedira dives in to beat him to it. He glances it away from goal.

41'   Cancelo squares a ball to Ronaldo and he mishits. 

40'   A look back at the goal and Bonucci marking nobody, leaving Chiellini in trouble. No a great return for Bonucci.

39'   Lots of wasted chances for Juve. Will they hurt them by the end? Chievo's Stadio M. A. Bentegodi is bopping.

38' 1-1! Chievo are level. A header from Stepinski. Lovely header too as the cross comes in from the left and he rises to send it into the corner of Szczesny's net. Giaccherini with the cross. A perfect one too.

35'   Cross comes in and Ronaldo bundles a defender out of the way but no free. Then Cuadrado goes down in the box. No penalty. Chievo break. 

35'   Yet another corner for Juventus. Douglas Costa wins it. 

31'   Another chance for Juventus. Douglas Costa chests down a failed clearance and he drives it wide with the outside of his right. Really nice effort. 

30'   Ronaldo gets a shot off from a really tight angle. Bounces to him and he hits it with his left. Over. 

30'   Or rustiness from Juve.

29'   Chievo holding there own although it might be more about luck than anything else.

28'   Headed away by Chievo at the front post.

27'   Costa out the left and he looks to either get a shot away or a cross but he can do neither. He wins a corner though.

24'   Water break in Verona. Still just 1-0 but Juve with more chances by far.

22'   Four on two and Cuadrado gets it. Ronaldo has his hands up but the Colombian goes alone and blazes miles over! Ronaldo wanted it but it looked like Cuadrado took the right option.

20'   Douglas Costa with a nutmeg and then Ronaldo gets it back to the winger. 

18'   Ronaldo's first shot. Dybala takes it down in the box, he plays to Cuadrado and he gets it to Ronaldo. Ronaldo's snap shot is just wide of the post. So close to a debut goal! 

16'   Juve back in possession. Douglas Costa dropping back again. 

13'   Chance for Chievo now as Juve have cooled off. Shot blazes wide of Szczesny's post. 

10'   Chievo on the ball and they cough it up. Chance to shoot but they waste it. Cuadrado races onto a long ball. Corner in the end for Juventus.

9'   Should be a penalty? Douglas Costa gets on the end of a long ball and squares to Cancelo. He gets bundled over and misses. No penalty and Chievo aren't happy with him even if he did nothing wrong. Goal-kick.

6'   The definition of lurking there by Ronaldo. Offside anyway as Sorrentino called into action again.

6'   Ronaldo with a chance almost literally on the line. It kind of hits his feet but he was offside anyway.

5'   No Ronaldo sightings just yet. Douglas Costa the latest with an effort but Sorrentino gathers.

3' 1-0! Khedira scores after the ball bounces around in the box from the free. Chiellini with the assist as he headers down into Khedria's feet.

2'   Cuadrado hauled down and Juve have a free from out on the right. Ronaldo in the penalty area and Pjanic set to take.

2'   Ball out to Alex Sandro on the left as Juventus launch their first attack. He wins a throw. Juve playing with three at the back.

1'   We are underway! Juventus with some defending to do and they win a goal kick.

    We are ready for action in Verona! Ref gives the thumbs up to his fourth officials and linesmen.

    We have a minute's silence for those affected by the bridge collapse that took 38 lives in Genoa recently.

A massive smile from Ronaldo as he looks down at the little mascot with him. A day that little girl won't forget. 

    The teams make their way onto the field. 

   The number of games Ronaldo needed to score his first goal for each of his new clubs. His reputation has grown significantly since he started with Portugal and Manchester United though so I'm sure he'll see plenty of action today, possibly a penalty, and won't he scowled for shooting on sight.

    All eyes on Ronaldo today. Chicevo's ground holds just under 40,000. It's 39,371 to be exact. 

    Lots of new signings in there for Chievo. Tomovic, Rossettini along with former Sunderland attacker, Giaccherini, in attack and Stepinski.

    Chievo XI: Sorrentino, Tomovic, Rossettini, Bani, Cacciatore, Rigoni, Radovanovic, Hetemaj, Depaoli, Giaccherini, Stepinski.

    Ronaldo warming up ahead of his debut. He teams up with Sami Khedira again. The German is at the base of midfield with Miralem Pjanic. The latter was the subject of interest from Real Madrid in the transfer window but he stayed at Juventus possibly thinking they can win the Champions League this season. 

    Previous Ronaldo debuts for Sporting, United and Real Madrid. He lost playing for Sporting against Braga when they fell 4-2. United won 4-0 against Bolton and Real Madrid won 3-2 against Deportivo la Coruña and he scored a penalty.

    Marchisio left the club yesterday after 389 games. He joined 10 years ago from Empoli. 

    Bonucci is back again after moving back to Juventus. Quite the mess after he left Juve a year ago, regretted the decision, and then asked to leave AC Milan. The latter got Higuain out of the deal, at least. 

    There hasn't been a teamsheet as anxiously awaited as this one. Ronaldo does indeed start for Juventus to make his debut: Szczesny; Cancelo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Khedira, Pjanic; Cuadrado, Dybala, Douglas Costa; Ronaldo

And should you also be planning to be in front of a TV screen for the game in Verona, then you may wish to avail yourself of our guide on how and where to watch:

To get yourself started, let us point you to our match preview just below this live feed...

Good evening! Champions Juventus get their 2018/19 Serie A campaign underway at Chievo Verona in just under an hour, in a clash that will see former Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo make his debut for the Bianconeri. Join us for all the build-up, followed by minute-by-minute coverage of the action at the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi! 

Chievo vs Juventus live online: match preview

Chievo host Juventus in the opening round of Serie A fixtures and will become the first club to benefit from the Cristiano Ronaldo effect with a sell-out expected at the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi on Saturday afternoon.

Massimiliano Allegri has already confirmed that Ronaldo will start in Verona, the Juve boos also stating that Wojciech Szczesny, Giorgo Chiellini, Miraelm Pjanic, Joao Cancelo and Alex Sandro would be in the starting XI.

Ronaldo’s 117-million-euro move to Turin in the summer has given Serie A a fresh boost after a few years of labouring under the shadow of LaLiga and the Premier League and talk of Champions League glory has been plentiful now that Juve have added the five-times winner and competition all-time top scorer to their ranks.

With the draw for Europe yet to take place, it falls to Allegri, Ronaldo and company to concentrate for now on a record seventh Scudetto defence domestically in 2018/19. The setting could not be more fitting for the biggest star to arrive in Serie A for some time: Diego Maradona made his Napoli debut in the same stadium 34 years ago as he embarked on a seven-season stint in Italy that would draw global attention to the division.


The Flying Donkeys have been fairly grounded since their return to the top flight in 2008-09, a ninth-placed finish in 2014/15 their best league result and a couple of Coppa Italia quarter-finals providing fans with a cup run during the same period.

Last season’s 13th position in the table was largely due to the appointment of former long-serving defender Lorenzo D’Anna, who was drafted in to replace Rolando Maran with Chievo languishing in the drop zone three games from the end of the season.

D’Anna, who played for the side from 1994 to 2007, led Chievo to nine points and eventual safety by five points, a turnaround that was made all the sweeter for the Yellow-and-Blue faithful as their arch-rivals Hellas Verona slipped into Serie B.

Chievo have an experienced squad and added Italy international Emanuele Giaccherini during the summer, alongside defensive reinforcements Federico Barba and Nenad Tomovic and Poland striker Marius Stepinski.

A brighter season awaits if D’Anna can replicate the spirit forged towards the end of the previous campaign and a day out in the sun against Juve and Ronaldo is as good a place to start as any.


Ronaldo was the star signing of the summer but Juve have put together a strong squad across all the lines after the signings of Cancelo, Douglas Costa, the returning Leonardo Bonucci and Emre Can.

The departure of Gonzalo Higuáin was inevitable – Juve needed a fall gut and were unlikely to part with Paulo Dybala or Mario Mandzukic – but goals will scarcely be a problem with the addition of Ronaldo, who averaged over one a game during his Real Madrid career.

Any concerns the Juve board might have had regarding the Portugal captain’s reputation as a prickly customer have also been swiftly allayed by Allegri, who described Ronaldo as a “simple lad to deal with” and the player’s own willingness to pitch in as any other new signing would.

On the pitch, matters are slightly more complicated and Allegri has to find a system that fits Ronaldo, while bringing the best out of his star player without treading on any other expensively booted toes.

The most obvious formula is to stick with the tried and tested. Last season Higuaín operated through the middle with Dybala and Costa either side or slightly behind the Argentinean in a 4-3-2-1. Ronaldo has long been touted for a move into a central striking role, which may well suit him given the relative lack of space afforded in Serie A compared to LaLiga and the Premier League.