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Ronaldo double gives Juventus Cup edge over Inter

A 2-1 win for Juventus at the San Siro tonight.

Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

CRISTIANO RONALDO SCORED twice as Juventus came from behind to beat Inter Milan 2-1 at the San Siro in their Italian Cup semi-final first leg tonight.

Record 13-time winners Juve will be favourites to reach a sixth final in seven years when they bid to complete the job in the return game in Turin next Tuesday.

Inter, who beat Juventus 2-0 last month in Serie A, have it all to do to keep their hopes of lifting a first Italian Cup since 2011 alive.

Inter made a flying start in the ninth minute, as Lautaro Martinez got in front of Matthijs de Ligt to meet Nicolo Barella’s low cross, sweeping a right-footed finish into the net despite Gianluigi Buffon getting a hand to the shot.

But Juventus were given a way back into the tie midway through the first half.

Juan Cuadrado, who was making a run into the box off the ball, was held by Ashley Young, with VAR deeming that the visitors should be awarded a penalty.

Ronaldo did the rest, hammering the spot-kick into the roof of the net to score his 21st goal of the season.

Juventus completed the first-half turnaround in the 35th minute, as a terrible mix-up between Alessandro Bastoni and Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic allowed Ronaldo to slide in his second goal from a tight angle.

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Inter, missing top-scorer Romelu Lukaku through suspension, should have equalised 11 minutes after half-time, but Alexis Sanchez’s shot was brilliantly cleared off the line by Merih Demiral.

italy-fc-internazionale-vs-juventus-fc Ronaldo with Inter's Arturo Vidal. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

The hosts kept pushing for an equaliser, with Martinez curling narrowly over after Buffon’s smart save kept out Matteo Darmian from point-blank range.

Inter coach Antonio Conte threw on Christian Eriksen, who scored a late winner in the last eight against AC Milan, but the home side failed to create another clear-cut chance.

© – AFP, 2021

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