Juventus - Sassuolo live: Serie A 2018/19
Follow all the action as Juventus host Sassuolo at the Allianz Stadium in week four of the 2018/19 Serie A season, with kick-off at 15:00 CEST.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Juventus saw off the challenge of Sassuolo with a 2-1 victory at the Allianz Stadium to maintain the last remaining unbeaten record in Serie A and open up a three-point lead over Napoli at the top of the table.
Going into the game the two sides were the only competitors in Italy’s top flight not to have tasted defeat this season and it appeared during a lacklustre first half that produced just a single shot on target that the status quo might be manitained. Sassuolo came to play and Roberto De Zerbi’s side took the game to the hosts with their quick passing , possession-based style but couldn’t find the target, Gian Marco Ferrari enjoying the half’s best chances when he rattled the bar with a header – but was subsequently penalised for a foul – and then warmed Wojciech Szczesny’s gloves with another from a corner.
Ronaldo had at least aligned his sights in the opening exchanges, firing just wide from inside the area, and after the break the Portuguese finally got off the mark for his new club with a tap-in after the unfortunate Ferrari again got his head on the ball to deflect Mario Mandzukic’s effort onto his own post and into the clutches of the lurking Juve number seven, who gratefully took the chance from point-blank range.
The former Real Madrid forward was on target again 15 minutes later, Emre Can releasing him on the left with a delicious through ball and Ronaldo taking it in his stride, picking his spot and unleashing a trademark left-footer past Andrea Consigli.
Ronaldo goals see Juve over the line
Sassuolo launched a late assult on the Juve goal, Szczesny making a flying save from Alfred Duncan’s fierce drive before smothering another attempt across his goal two minutes from time. Substitutes Cristian Dell’Orco and Khouma Babacar – who was a surprise omission after providing three assists in the 5-3 win over Genoa before the international break – combined to pull one back, a glorious cross from the left back being met powerfully in the air by the Senegal international who guided his header past Szczesny.
Chaos then descended as referee Daniele Chiffi, who had been a hard task-master in the first half, awarded Douglas Costa just a single yellow card for elbowing and headbutting Federico Di Francesco. The Brazilian then spat on the Sassuolo winger, with VAR studying the incident and awarding a straight red to add to his caution, which will in all likelihood will result in a lengthy ban.
But the afternoon belonged to Ronaldo, who finally broke his duck for Juve in his fourth Serie A appearance, in a mirror image of how he started last season when he required the same length of time to open his account against Getafe, going on to score 44 in all competitions by the season’s end.