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Ronaldo capitalises on Zaza woe to nick Turin derby for below-par Juve

Juventus were off-colour in a tense derby before Simone Zaza’s error allowed Cristiano Ronaldo to seal the three points.

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo
Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo

CRISTIANO RONALDO’S PENALTY gave Juventus a seventh consecutive Serie A victory as Torino’s Simone Zaza endured a nightmare moment in a 1-0 defeat to his former club in the Derby della Mole.

Torino held their own for 70 minutes in a cagey affair until Zaza dribbled haphazardly back towards his own box with Leonardo Bonucci in pursuit.

The forward then sold Salvador Ichazo short with a terrible backpass and the substitute goalkeeper brought down Mario Mandzukic.

Ronaldo converted despite Ichazo’s best efforts for his 11th Serie A goal of the season, extending Juve’s lead at the summit to 11 points.

Salvatore Sirigu took a heavy blow to the hip early on and the Torino goalkeeper writhed in agony after making a fine reaction save from Ronaldo.

Sirigu finally accepted defeat in the 20th minute, making way for Ichazo to make his first Serie A appearance for Torino since January 2016.

His opposite number Mattia Perin – preferred to Wojciech Szczesny by Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri – kept out Andrea Belotti’s header and prevented Armando Izzo from scrambling home the rebound.

Izzo had a better chance in the 52nd minute when he got in front of Leonardo Bonucci but headed Cristian Ansaldi’s in-swinging free-kick over.

Belotti then had a strike deflected behind and Juventus full-back Alex Sandro was fortunate not to be penalised for pulling Zaza to the floor in the penalty area.

It had been largely lacklustre from the champions but a combination of Koffi Djidji and Ichazo thwarted Blaise Matuidi when he was on the end of Ronaldo’s excellent low cross.

Increasing pressure told – certainly when it came to Zaza’s decision making – and Ronaldo netted decisively before collecting a needless booking for bumping chests with Ichazo after the keeper almost saved his penalty.

Juve thought they had a second when Mandzukic converted Miralem Pjanic’s free-kick at the back post, but Ronaldo flicked on from an offside position.

- Omni

Murray Kinsella, Gavan Casey and Eddie O’Sullivan preview another big weekend of Heineken Cup action and dissect the week’s main talking points.


Source: Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42/SoundCloud

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