How Ron­aldo and other Juve Debu­tants got on at start of Serie A

Zambian Business Times - - SPORTS -

Fed­erico Bernarde­schi scored a 93rd-minute win­ner, mo­ments after Juve had a goal ruled out by VAR with Ron­aldo at the cen­tre of the in­ci­dent.

The Por­tu­gal cap­tain, a £99.2m sign­ing from Real Madrid, han­dled the ball be­fore col­lid­ing with Chievo goal­keeper Ste­fano Sor­rentino in the build-up to Mario Mandzu­kic's goal, which ref­eree Fabrizio Pasqua ruled out on re­view.

Sami Khedira had put Ju­ven­tus, who have won the past seven Serie A ti­tles, ahead from close range in the third minute, be­fore Mar­iusz Stepin­ski headed in the equaliser.

Emanuele Gi­ac­cherini won and scored a penalty to put Chievo in front on 56 min­utes, but a Mat­tia Bani own goal pegged them back be­fore Bernarde­schi struck late on.

Ron­aldo forced sev­eral saves from 39-year-old Sor­rentino, who left the match on a stretcher after his late collision with the five-time Bal­lon d'Or win­ner.

How did Ron­aldo get on?

Ron­aldo, 33, scored in his first game for the Old Lady - their tra­di­tional pre-sea­son friendly against the Ju­ven­tus B team.

That match was held in the small Ital­ian town of Vil­lar Perosa. Its pop­u­la­tion is 4,000 - but Ron­aldo's ap­pear­ance drew 5,000 fans.

His pres­ence in Verona led to Chievo sell­ing out their 39,000-seater Sta­dio Marc'An­to­nio Ben­te­godi, as they more than dou­bled their av­er­age at­ten­dance.

Speak­ing be­fore the match, coach Mas­si­m­il­iano Al­le­gri said he is yet to de­cide Ron­aldo's best po­si­tion in the team.

With Gon­zalo Higuain on loan at AC Mi­lan, the for­mer Manch­ester United for­ward started up front on his own against Chievo, with Paulo Dy­bala in the num­ber 10 role and Dou­glas Costa and Juan Cuadrado on the wings.

His first chance came in the 19th minute, when he dragged a shot wide from 20 yards. Ten min­utes later he tried to vol­ley a left-foot shot across goal from a tight an­gle.

Ron­aldo grew into the game after the break and made his in­tent clear with a fierce dip­ping shot from dis­tance that forced Sor­rentino into ac­tion. He then di­rected a free header straight at the goal­keeper.

With the in­tro­duc­tion of Mandzu­kic as a cen­tral striker in the 64th minute, Ron­aldo moved out to the left.

He seemed more ef­fec­tive cut­ting in on his right foot, and his best chance came when he forced a div­ing one-handed save from Sor­rentino with a curl­ing shot. A last-ditch tackle by Fabrizio Cac­cia­tore de­flected an­other Ron­aldo shot onto the roof of the net, be­fore Sor­rentino saved a trade­mark free-kick.

How did Juve's other debu­tants get on?

While there were cheers for Ron­aldo, there were some boos for Leonardo Bonucci, who re­joined Juve just a year after leav­ing for AC Mi­lan for £35.1m.

Bonucci was at fault for Chievo's opener, fail­ing to track Stepin­ski's run, but re­deemed him­self as his pres­sure at a cor­ner led to Bani's own goal.

For­mer Liverpool mid­fielder Emre Can, mean­while, al­most scored with his first touch after com­ing on for the last five min­utes, but his div­ing header was saved. Right-back Joao Cancelo, a sum­mer ar­rival from Va­len­cia, gave away a penalty for a lunge on Gi­ac­cherini.

Cris­tiano Ron­aldo made a win­ning start to his Ju­ven­tus ca­reer as his new club came from be­hind to beat Chievo 3-2 in a dra­matic start to the Serie A sea­son.

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