Figure 1: Cristiano Ronaldo in the 4 – 0 victory over Cagliari FC was all smiles during his impressive performance.

Juventus were to face an inspired Cagliari side who currently sit sixth on the log in a Europa League spot thanks to the signing of Radja Nainggolan, who moved to Cagliari, his wife’s hometown, to be closer to her as she battles breast cancer. Maurizio Sarri altered his line up, starting Aaron Ramsey ahead of Gonzalo Higuain who has formed a prolific trident with the duo of Paulo Dybala and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The game finished four goals to nil in the favour of Juventus who played in front of their home supporters at the Allianz Stadium. Ronaldo was involved in all four goals with an assist and three goals, marking his first Serie A hattrick and 36th league hattrick. The first goal came from Ronaldo’s awareness as he stole the ball from a slow Ragnar Klavan pass in defence then dribbled past the goalkeeper and slotted the ball home. Dybala was then brought down inside the box after successfully dribbling past two of Cagliari’s defenders. The ensuing penalty was coolly slotted by Ronaldo along the ground to the goalkeeper’s left.

Figure 2: Juventus’ players celebrating with Ronaldo after a goal.

Ronaldo then hit the ball forward from his own half to Higuain, who came on for Dybala in the second half, who cut in and played a low shot with his right foot in between a defender’s legs which deflected the shot past the frustrated Robin Olsen in the posts. Less than a minute afterwards, Douglas Costa, also a second half sub, gave the ball to Ronaldo, who was on the left edge of the box, who faked a shot then slotted it into the near post, with a confidence that reminded many what a superb finisher Ronaldo still is at the young age of 34, completing his hattrick.

Juventus dominated the game with 65% possession and 91% pass accuracy, which is trademark for the controversial “Sarri – ball” system they have employed all season, however the players now seem better adjusted to the style of their new coach as evidenced by their twenty shots taken with ten shots on target.

Figure 3: Serie A top scorers

Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku also scored a brace later that day, taking his total tally for the season to 14 goals, one ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and restoring Inter Milan’s lead at the top of the league, level on 45 points with Juventus but ahead on goal difference. S.S. Lazio’s Ciro Immobile remains the lead scorer with 19 goals and is in prime position to win the Capocannoniere (Italian: [ˌkapokanːoˈnjɛːre]; literally “head gunner”), which is the title awarded to the highest goal scorer of each season in Italy’s Serie A.

Figure 4: S.S. Lazio’s Ciro Immobile has been in terrific form this season.

Ronaldo reacted post-match, with a tweet on his official page: “Amazing feeling to kick off 2020 with a hattrick and a victory! #finoallafine #forzajuve.” Ronaldo has now scored in each of his last five Serie A games and has looked sharper, which is good news to every Ronaldo and Juventus fan as we head into the business end of the league. He would then hope to lead Juventus to victory once more when they take on AS Roma in their next Serie A fixture on the 12th of January.


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