The Bianconeri couldn’t have asked for a more perfect start to the new year as they claimed a 4-0 victory over Cagliari on Monday afternoon at Allianz Stadium. Cristiano Ronaldo scored a second-half hat-trick and grabbed an assist on Gonzalo Higuain’s goal as Juventus showed claimed all three points.
Juventus start 2020 with a bang!
The Bianconeri commanded play in the opening minutes of the game, and their first attack saw Juan Cuadrado lay on an attack in from the right flank, it skipped across the face of goal and met the foot of Alex Sandro, who connected on the volley and fired his shot wide and high. Ramsey then saw his effort fly over the bar. Cagliari’s defence proved to be resilient as they frustrated the Bianconeri every time they went on the attack. However, the best chance of the half came on the stroke of the half hour when Cristiano Ronaldo flung in a powerful header towards goal which saw Olsen brilliantly palm it away, only for the offside flag to be raised. Merih Demiral came agonizingly close to breaking the deadlock in the 35th minute with a header that had beaten Olsen but was denied by the crossbar.
Juventus grabbed a hold of the lead with a minute on the clock in the second half: Cagliari’s defence played the ball across the goal, Ronaldo intercepted and burst into the box before firing straight past Olsen at the near post. The scoreline nearly doubled in favour of the Dybala shot towards goal, it ricocheted a number of times which resulted in Olsen flapping the ball off the line with a one-handed save. Cagliari came close to pulling a goal back when Giovanni Simeone’s header was turned onto the crossbar, while Dybala was denied by an outstretched Olsen off his free-kick in the 63rd minute.
Juventus went knocking on Cagliari’s door and as the game went on, Cagliari’s defence grew tired of the threat the Bianconeri strike force imposed. Paulo Dybala was proving particularly tricky to contain and he was bought down in the box in the 67th minute. The referee pointed to the post and Cristiano Ronaldo converted with power and precision to make it 2-0. Higuain was then brought on in place of Dybala, while Douglas Costa replaced Ramsey.
Higuain’s impact was immediate, as he turned the scoreline to 3-0: Ronaldo played in a long ball from the left flank, he ran onto it and fired past Olsen at the far post. That wasn’t to be the final goal of the game though, as Ronaldo got his hat-trick when Douglas Costa played the ball wide to Ronaldo on the edge of the box: the Portuguese striker burst into the box and put it into the back of the next. The Bianconeri kept pressing for a fifth and final goal but they would settle for their impressive scoreline and three points.
Juventus: Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, Demiral, Alex Sandro; Rabiot, Pjanic, Matuidi (Can 85'); Ramsey; Dybala (Higuain 70’), Ronaldo
Substitutes: Buffon, Pinsoglio, De Sciglio, de Ligt, Danilo, Rugani, Emre Can, Douglas Costa, Pjaca, Higuain, Bernardeschi
Cagliari: Olsen; Cacciatore (Farago 61’), Walukiewicz, Klavan, Pellegrini; Nandez, Cigarini, Rog; Nainggolan, Joao Pedro; Simeone