AAP Soccer

Ronaldo off the mark with Juventus brace

By AAP Newswire

Cristiano Ronaldo broke his Juventus duck in his fourth game when he scored a brace to give them a 2-1 win over Sassuolo in Serie A, although the Turin side's day was marred by a red card for Douglas Costa for spitting at an opponent.

Ronaldo opened his account in the easiest possible fashion by tapping into an empty net from less than two metres in the 50th minute.

The Portuguese added another in the 65th minute when he finished off a counter-attack by drilling a low-angled shot beyond Andrea Consigli and into the far corner with his left foot.

After Ronaldo missed two good chances for a hat-trick, Khouma Babacar headed one back in the 90th minute but could not prevent Sassuolo from falling to their first defeat of the season.

Ronaldo was delighted to get off the mark for his new club.

"Sassuolo played well, but we showed good intensity and created a lot of chances," he said.

"I wanted to score, but the most important thing is to perform well and win matches.

"Of course there was a lot of attention on my move to Turin, but that's life. I'm happy, I'm working hard and my team-mates are really helping me to adapt to this league."

Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri Allegri told the club's official website: "He came very close in his first three games.

"I think he rushed a couple of chances today - it looked like he was absolutely desperate to score."

Costa became involved in a running feud with Sassuolo midfielder Federico Di Francesco.

The Brazilian escaped with a booking for elbowing and then head-butting his rival as they tangled before the Sassuolo goal but was then sent off after video cameras caught him spitting at the same player.

Juventus, chasing an eighth successive Serie A title, have 12 points, three ahead of Napoli. Earlier, AS Roma squandered a two-goal lead when they were held 2-2 at home by lowly Chievo.

Elsewhere, Gonzalo Higuain also got off the mark for his new club but AC Milan was held to a 1-1 draw at Cagliari.

Joao Pedro marked his comeback from a doping ban with an early goal but Higuain - who moved from Juventus in the off season - levelled in the 55th minute, rounding the goalkeeper before slotting into an empty net.

Poland international Krzysztof Piatek scored his fourth goal in three matches to give Genoa a 1-0 win over Bologna, which had midfielder Erick Pulgar sent off in stoppage time for a harsh tackle on Romulo.

Lazio won 1-0 at newly promoted Empoli, while Torino drew 1-1 at Udinese.