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Ronaldo on target with 20th goal of the season as Juventus go 11 points clear in Serie A

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 18th Serie A goal of the season as Juventus beat Sassuolo 3-0 to move 11 points clear at the top of the table.

Ronaldo was on target for Juventus on Sunday.
Ronaldo was on target for Juventus on Sunday.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

JUVENTUS EXTENDED THEIR lead at the top of Serie A to 11 points after beating Sassuolo 3-0 courtesy of goals from Sami Khedira, Cristiano Ronaldo and Emre Can.

The champions recovered from a chaotic 3-3 draw at home against Parma with a straightforward victory and a more composed performance at MAPEI Stadium on Sunday.

Khedira scored his second goal of the season in the 23rd minute to put Juve in front and committed displays from Blaise Matuidi and Federico Bernardeschi ensured Massimiliano Allegri’s men did not miss Paulo Dybala, who was named on the bench after he stormed off the touchline against Parma.

Ronaldo’s 18th league goal of the season — 20th in all competitions — and a late strike from Can made sure of the Bianconeri’s first victory in three matches across all competitions, coming a day after second-placed Napoli were held to a draw by Fiorentina to make a successful title defence look all the more likely.

Juve were given an early scare when Filip Djuricic was allowed a clear run into the box where Wojciech Szczesny brought him down, but the referee judged that the goalkeeper’s challenge was legal after consulting VAR.

Sassuolo vs Juventus - Serie A TIM 2018/2019 The Old Lady are 11 points clear at the top of Serie A. Source: Filippo Rubin/Lapresse

Szczesny made a good save to deny Manuel Locatelli’s rising drive from 20 yards before the visitors took the lead with their first clear chance of the game.

Ronaldo pounced on a poor clearance by Sassuolo keeper Andrea Consigli and started a move that saw his shot from the edge of the box saved before Khedira slotted home the rebound.

Khedira headed narrowly wide on the cusp of half-time and Ronaldo had the ball in the net six minutes into the second half but an offside flag was correctly raised against him.

Sassuolo captain Domenico Berardi missed an open goal from 35 yards when Szczesny fluffed his lines at a clearance, shortly before Khedira failed to turn the ball over the line when Mario Mandzukic presented him with a golden chance just after the hour mark.

Ronaldo rose to meet Miralem Pjanic’s corner in the 70th minute, beating Consigli to the ball and sending a glancing header into the far corner.

Can came on for Matuidi and within a minute he made it 3-0, latching onto Ronaldo’s unselfish ball across the edge of the Sassuolo box and sliding home a low, angled shot to wrap up a comfortable win.

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